Review of 'Enola Holmes'

enola_holmes.jpg I was thinking about what category this film falls into. I was thinking action but there is not really a lot of that, I was thinking fantasy given that it is set in the world of Sherlock Holmes but ultimately I settled on “Melodrama” as “Enola Holmes” is ultimately just that. The write-up on Netflix suggests that Enola Holmes is much smarter than her more famous brother but, in fact, this is more than a bit misleading.

Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown), much younger sister of Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) has been brought up on her own living with their free-spirited mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) in their country home. A week after Eudoria's disappearance Mycroft and Sherlock arrive horrified at the state of the house but deduce her disappearance was due to foul play. Mycroft is determined to send the rather free-spirited Enola to finishing school but after she discovers a secret message and money left by her mother, Enola flees to London disguised as a young man to search for her. In London, she sheds her disguise as a young boy and instead dresses as a well-bred lady as she seeks out clues as to what has happened. A trail that will lead her into a plot against the government and murder.

A bit of fun, light entertainment with Enola providing some delightful fourth wall breaking as she talks to the audience. She is the loveable rebel struggling to get the bottom of the mystery against the odds stacked against her. The film starts off great with the uniqueness of the story but very quickly slows to a crawl becoming more a standard action/mystery. The slow pace is only occasionally interrupted by brief scenes of slightly over the top action that quickly ends and returns once again to plodding along. The story is hardly full of too much in the way of surprises but merely an excuse for a few good punch-ups and some decent, but not astounding, views of Victorian England. There is not too much of a mystery here, it is more about a young woman struggling to make her own way in the world…now quite a tired film cliché.

Sam Claflin is a bit one-dimensional as the stuffed shirt Mycroft showing none of the intelligence granted to him in Doyle's books while Henry Cavill is more caring as Sherlock but, again, showing very little of the intelligence one might expect of him. Helena Bonham Carter plays true to type as the wild-eyed Eudoria, less mother and more playmate to Enola. Millie Bobby Brown is delightful as Enola, bringing an intensity and sincerity to the role that is a joy to behold.

Silly and fun but don't expect the action seen in other contemporary portrayals of Sherlock Holmes, thinking specifically of Robert Downey Jr's frenetic turn as the detective in 2009's “Sherlock Holmes”.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-03-13

Directed by: Harry Bradbeer

Studio: Netflix

Year: 2020

Length: 123 minutes

Genre: Melodrama

Other reviewed films by Harry Bradbeer: