Review of 'Enola Holmes 2'

enola_holmes2.jpg We quite enjoyed the first outing of Enola Holmes and hoped for more of the same. Though 2 had some aspects of the first film this was a bit more, dare I say it, serious than the first.

Enola (Millie Bobby Brown of “Stranger Things” fame), encouraged by her success in the first film is now determined to strike out on her own opening her own detective agency. Potential clients prove to be reluctant to take her on so she decides to close up shop but as she is packing a young girl named Bessie (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss) hires Enola to find her missing sister Sarah Chapman. Enola learns they have both been working in a match-stick factory on the south side of the Thames but as the investigation unfolds there are serious questions raised about the business practices of the factory. Meanwhile, Enola's slightly more famous brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill) is investigating a robbery and a series of mysterious money transfers but Enola still declines his offer of support on her case. Soon enough in becomes clear that a criminal mastermind is playing with them both but will they solve the case before more young women suffer?

Yes, it does have more of Enola talking the camera and a lot of modern sensibilities mixed into the story so that is most definitely a good thing, lifting this up from a strict drama but it feels like it takes so long for anything to happen as we watch Enola yet again running away from her pursuers. The effects of old London are passable but not great though the action is very well choreographed. There is some attempt here to remove some of the Hollywood gloss in the look of London and make it a bit more realistic with rats and sewage and the like, but overall it is still a bit too clean. The story has enough twists to keep the viewer entertained but many will likely be anticipated by those who are observant, even so, some of the details are hidden making it impossible for many twists to be anticipated no matter how hard you pay attention. The social justice side of the story is unexpected but not unwelcome and adds a touch of reality. But in the end, it is a baddie that Enola must vanquish and learn to accept help from others.

Millie Bobby Brown is great again as the fiesty Enola and Henry Cavill seems to be a bit more sharp witted than in the first film as Sherlock. The character of Lestrade (Adeel Akhtar) I found puzzling as he is so stupid and ineffective to the point of irrelevancy serving only to slap handcuffs on whoever he is told to which is disappointing as he could have served as a magnificent foil to his boss the sinister Superintendent Grail (a creepy performance by David Thewlis) who you just know is going to end up being a baddie. The young woman matchstick factory workers in this piece are deserving of note as they convincingly portray the squalor of their character's lives.

A bit of light fun that engages enough to be interesting though slightly over-long. This is not a documentary but has a touch of realism that elevates this from other films.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-12-11

Directed by: Harry Bradbeer

Studio: Legendary Entertainment

Year: 2022

Length: 129 minutes

Genre: Melodrama

Other reviewed films by Harry Bradbeer: