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'Enola Holmes 2' Review

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November 1, 2022
Hunter Friesen
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Can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that the title of the Enola Holmes sequel is simply Enola Holmes 2? In this day and age, studios seem to be allergic to putting numbers in their titles. It happened to the John Wick series, which inexplicably felt the need to tack on the Parabellum subtitle for the third chapter. Based on the quality of the series, the barrage of subtitles makes it damn near impossible to remember all of them or keep them straight. I’ll bet anyone a billion dollars that they can’t sequentially order the Resident Evil films. I’d also place the same bet for someone to properly explain to me why Star Trek Into Darkness doesn't have a colon.

Thankfully, the producers of Enola Holmes 2 (which includes star Millie Bobby Brown) felt that it would be better for everyone if they just used a number to denote this newest edition to the franchise. It’s a doubly impressive move considering that each of the books in the Enola Holmes series contains subtitles, so there were ample options to pick from. It’s just a shame the simplicity of the title doesn’t translate to the story within, which falters from a hurried script that tries to do too much at nearly every turn.

Leaping right from where its predecessor left off, Enola Holmes 2 finds the titular character opening her own detective agency. Unfortunately, she still lives in the shadow of her famous older brother, who makes the headlines every time he cracks an “unsolvable” case. Just as she’s about to pack up and head back home in failure, a young girl comes knocking at Enola’s door. Her dear friend from the match factory has gone missing, and foul play seems to be involved. After some digging, the clues surrounding Enola’s case have an alarming connection to that of Sherlock’s newest mystery, which, for the first time in his life, is beyond his comprehension. Despite their reluctance to accept help, the siblings agree to pair up, sending them on a deadly game throughout the highs and lows of Industrial Age London.

Enola Holmes 2 brings the whole gang back together, which includes stars Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill, as well as director Harry Bradbeer and writer Jack Thorne. Along with her role in Stranger Things, Brown continues to climb as a movie star. She brings excellent energy to the role, including Fleabag-inspired fourth wall breaks and numerous improvised quips. The real mystery is how she hasn’t been gobbled up by the MCU machine at this point. But that’s one I’d like to remain unsolved.

Cavill maintains his moniker as the hunkiest Sherlock to date. He’s been promoted from supporting to an almost co-lead, making room for some unnecessary scenes where we learn more about Sherlock’s psyche, which we’ve already covered numerous times across novels, plays, television, and film. 

That inclusion of more Sherlock is just one of the many symptoms of the sequel-itis that Enola Holmes 2 suffers from. Introductions to more new characters, including one played by David Thewlis in his millionth “creepy British guy” role, and returning old characters make for a crammed cast. Also crammed is the story, which features too many subplots and stops along the way to the final destination. It’s all amusing but can often get quite tiring.

Enola Holmes 2 exemplifies the old adage that more is not always better. Thankfully, the overabundance of charm and style makes its nearly 130-minute runtime go by without much bother. For the next one, let’s hope they focus on quality rather than quantity.

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