The game is afoot, and this time, it’s a lot more fun because, well, the premise has been set, characters established and sweet Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown), sister to the great Sherlock (Henry Cavill), is back on a case after setting up a detective agency of her own.
Based on a popular series of books by American author Nancy Springer, The Enola Holmes Mysteries is a young adult series of detective novels focusing on the newly created younger sister of the world’s greatest detective, and this sequel to 2020’s Netflix hit has the Stranger Things star attempt to solve the disappearance of Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd).
Who is she? What are her secrets? And why has she gone missing? Viewers follow the young Holmes as she sniffs around high society in Enola Holmes 2, in search of the young woman and the men who potentially want her dead.
But Enola can’t do it alone. Or rather, she can, but as she gets herself into serious danger the deeper she investigates her case, her older brother Sherlock Holmes steps in and gathers a team of allies to elevate Enola. This is rather odd for Sherlock, who often works alone but it proves to be fruitful when the siblings learn that their individual cases are connected.
Where the first Enola Holmes movie tells a coming-of-age story and teaches viewers, particularly young girls, to not limit themselves and strike out on their own, Enola Holmes 2 teaches a lesson on solidarity and fighting together. One can achieve amazing things on their own, but with the support of allies and like-minded folks, one can be magnificent.
Sherlock isn’t the only ally our young detective has. Returning from Enola Holmes are Edith (Susan Wokoma), Lord Tewksbury (Louis Patridge) and Holmes’ eccentric mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter). Edith and Eudoria are still on their mission of achieving equal rights for women, whilst Lord Tewksbury has become a man – an eligible bachelor with a bright future in politics. The romance between Lord Tewksbury and Enola is much more flirtatious this time around, for they have both grown in age, and fans who have been wanting to see the young pair get together may soon get their wish.
Eudoria, who mainly appeared in flashbacks in the first movie, has a much more active role this time around, creating chaos in her own ways and coming in to get her kids in line whenever they need some motherly care and advice. Eudoria is seen working closely with Edith and it seems like the pair have become inseparable in their fight for women’s rights. Edith, as always, is tough and full of life.
But out of all of the returning characters, Cavill’s Sherlock gets the most focus. Why? Elementary my dear. As compared to the first movie where Sherlock appears here and there when summoned, Sherlock has become integral to the sequel’s story and is seen actively supporting Enola throughout the movie. Viewers get to know Sherlock on a much more personal level too as we follow him on his own case.
Brown and Cavill have relatively strong chemistry. The two take jabs at each other frequently as means to show care for each other and have an underlying sibling rivalry that is all too familiar for those who grow up with a golden sibling in the family. The two also love each other from a distance which is admirable given how they did not grow up close when they were children – as explained in the first Enola Holmes movie.
Brown remains a delight to watch. The British actress rose to fame with the character Eleven in Netflix’s Stranger Things, and Enola Holmes 2 continues to prove that the actress is talented and is able to play roles outside of the sci-fi/horror genre. Brown is playful and inviting, often breaking the fourth wall to give viewers insight into her brilliant and witty mind.
Enola Holmes 2 does follow the same mechanics as the first movie. It breaks the fourth wall, has a plot that is centred on feminism and enjoys using flashbacks to explain why Enola is the way she is.
The flashbacks again relate to memories of her learning with Eudoria and partaking in different science experiments. This time, these experiments become inspirations for how she plans to escape villains and delve into other themes of love, siblinghood and the importance of friendship.
The biggest change we see between both sequels though, is that the plot in Enola Holmes 2 is loosely based on real-life events. The movie’s plot borrows from The Matchgirls’ Strike, a strike in 1888 lead by women and teenage girls working at the Bryant & May match factory in Bow, London.
In 1888, British women who worked making and boxing matches in a matchstick company went on strike to expose the company’s poor working conditions. They were able to secure some labour rights for themselves, and they inspired unskilled workers in other industries to unionize and demand changes.
The plot of Enola Holmes 2 sees Enola finding a missing girl who works at the match factory and whilst it ends similarly with women demanding for better working conditions, we get an elaborate adventure that includes dancing at balls, running from authorities and plenty of murders before we get there.
Oh, and there’s a twist! No mystery film can exist without a twist and Enola Holmes 2 has a few good ones that will have you stumped for a good few minutes. The movie alludes to a few suspects but they’re usually never the ones you suspect or have grounds for suspicion anyways.
In all, Enola Holmes 2 can be deemed a successful sequel to the first movie where viewers get to enjoy more developed characters and a plot that presents more twists and turns than the first. Where the first movie attempts to establish itself as a feminist movie with lighter undertones, the sequel delves into darker and sinister tones to accompany our now older protagonist.
Enola Holmes definitely has the potential to be a bigger franchise and we hope Netflix produces more films with Brown as the detective. We also wouldn’t complain if the franchise were to branch out and have a spin-off series focused on Sherlock Holmes himself. Afterall, you can never have too many Sherlock Holmes series.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Enola Holmes 2 sees Millie Bobby Brown back as the younger Holmes detective solving a missing person’s case with her big brother Sherlock as her aid. If you’re not watching for Brown, then you’ll definitely will want to stick around for Cavill’s Holmes, who gets a bigger role in this sequel.
Story - 8.5/10
Direction - 7.5/10
Characterisation - 7.5/10
Geek Satisfaction - 8.5/10