ENOLA HOLMES Review; "[It's] Saved By A Phenomenal Performance From Millie Bobby Brown"

ENOLA HOLMES Review; "[It's] Saved By A Phenomenal Performance From Millie Bobby Brown"

Enola Holmes arrives on Netflix next Wednesday, but are some unmissable performances enough to make up for a mystery that often falls flat? Find our spoiler-free review of the movie after the jump...

Based on the series of novels of the same name by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes puts the spotlight on Sherlock Holmes' little sister, a young woman every bit as clever and daring as the famous detective. Vowing to find her mother after she mysteriously disappears, she embarks on a perilous journey to London (avoiding Sherlock and Mycroft), and it's just unfortunate that the mystery at the centre of this often thrilling adventure doesn't quite manage to live up to the Sherlock Holmes tales of old. 

There are certainly some fun surprises to be found, but no great twist that will stick with you once the credits roll. Most crucially, the mystery surrounding Eudoria Holmes too quickly becomes a subplot and has a conclusion which fails to stick the landing. On the plus side, the feminist message here does work well, though it's a shame Enola Holmes features neither a female writer nor director as that might have ensured those themes made a more significant impact. None of this is to say that the movie is bad, as the story is executed by filmmaker Harry Bradbeer in an effective way, and all it's really missing is a stronger case for the wonderful young detective at the heart of this tale to solve. 

What really saves Enola Holmes is Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) in perhaps her best performance to date. The frequent fourth-wall breaks work perfectly, and her charisma and natural charm mean it's never not fun to spend time with her. As we follow Enola rebelling against her brothers, finding her footing as a detective, and possibly even falling in love, we're left with a character it would be amazing to pick up with in a sequel. Louis Partridge also makes his mark as the rebellious Lord Tewksbury, but every bit the scene stealer as Brown is Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes. He doesn't get anywhere near enough screentime, and this story is at its best when he's being outsmarted by his younger sibling. Between this, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, and The Witcher, Cavill is on a roll, and delivering a series of memorable roles outside of Superman. Burn Gorman makes for an effective hechman-style villain, though most despicable is Sam Claflin's Mycroft, Enola's snooty older brother who has a very different idea for her future.

We've seen Victorian London in plenty of movies by now, and the world of Enola Holmes is authentic, if not overly inventive or exciting. Cinematographer Giles Nuttgens definitely enhances what ends up on screen, though, and Daniel Pemberton's score helps add some oomph to moments that might have otherwise fallen flat. There's real franchise potential with Enola Holmes, but if there is a sequel, the detective needs a case to solve that lives up to the strong, memorable character at its core. Unfortunately, the biggest mystery here is how screenwriter Jack Thorne forgot that a truly great Holmes story needs a compelling plot . 

Despite a bloated, mostly uninteresting mystery, Enola Holmes is saved by a phenomenal performance from Millie Bobby Brown and an unforgettable take on Sherlock Holmes courtesy of Henry Cavill. 
 

Ke1


Enola Holmes releases globally on Netflix September 23.

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