December 2, 2023

Enola Holmes is back and solving a new mystery in the recent sequel, “Enola Holmes 2.” Millie Bobbie Brown and Henry Cavill return to the screen, reprising their roles as Enola and Sherlock Holmes, respectively. The film series follows Enola, the younger sister of Sherlock as she fights to establish herself as a true detective. Enola’s main struggle is escaping the shadow of her brother’s great success.

In this film, Enola takes on the case of a missing young woman and is hired by her kid sister named Bessie. The case is more than it seems as Enola finds herself entangled in a large conspiracy with connecting cases. However, as Enola navigates her first solo case, I found the details quite bland, and the overall case signicantly dragged out.

The film attempts to reel in viewers by opening with a chase scene. It continues to follow the sequence of events leading up to the chase and resumes where it left off. This method of introduction is overdone and only intriguing when properly executed. In this sense, it seemed too kitschy for my taste.

The film lacked the sense of excitement that made the previous film stand out and, unfortunately, fell into the category of lackluster sequels. I will admit that it became more intriguing as the film progressed, but it was still not enough to keep me on the edge of my seat.

The plotline of the continuing romance between Enola and Lord Tewkesbury (Louise Partridge) was presented throughout the film, creating a disconnect between the mystery and action of the film. It often focused far too long on the romance and Enola’s personal feelings, bringing the film to a more childish level that I could not take seriously under the mystery and crime genre. Brown’s acting was another aspect of the film that I could not take seriously. Her facial expressions were cartoonish and each time she broke the fourth wall it seemed to be less and less necessary.

This film only loosely followed the traditional method of unfolding a Sherlock Holmes case. As a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, I was not impressed with Enola’s deduction methods and was frankly quite disappointed at her lack of perception.

This lack of perception caused the film to feel dragged out and, at times, boring. Clues were quickly found and revealed throughout the film and seemed to have simple answers that were only explained in a complicated manner.

Although the plot was rather dull, the movie found its strength in visuals. The visuals added to depict how clues were understood in Enola’s mind were aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The turning of book pages and illustrations were a fun addition to the graphics of the film.

Another great set of visuals was the set itself. Each set and its corresponding crime scene had extreme detail. Set design is often overlooked, but with such a dull plot, my attention was pulled to it.

The design of the apartments and businesses was intricate and beautiful as they followed a similar color theme that included bright colors and neutrals that aligned for a harmonious color palette.

Overall the semi-witty banter dragged the plot, and the overuse of romantic elements made “Enola Holmes 2” as tired as any other sequel film. Although two movies would have sufficed, Netflix may have other plans.

The ending left the possibility of yet another film — perhaps the third time is the charm.
2 out of 5 stars.

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