Review: Enola Holmes (2020)

A fun, family movie which was an exciting and charming take on the Sherlock Holmes lore.

PLOT AND STORY

Enola Holmes is the sister to Sherlock and when their mother disappears it takes Enola on an investigative journey to track her down. The beauty of this movie is how much it falls back on the traditional Sherlock Holmes style of storytelling. A multi layered mystery which keeps the audience entertained from start to finish. This movie has two simultaneous mysteries ongoing and both of which could only be solved by a Holmes.

Based on the Nancy Springer series of Enola Holmes mysteries this movie is based on the first novel “The Case of the Missing Marquess”. These books are a popular young adult series and I was happy to see Jack Thorne kept that continuity with his screenplay. A fun and quirky comedy which was enjoyed by myself and my kids.

PRODUCTION AND DIRECTION 

Set in 19th Century London, Enola Holmes has a real charm to it. The setting and the costumes all make the era look genuine while maybe a little too clean for what it actually looked like. 

Some of the most impressive moments in the movie were the action and fight sequences. Having a 16 year old girl compete in hand to hand combat with adult men could have looked unrealistic in the wrong hands but Millie Bobby Brown truly holds her own. 

With much of the story focused on wealthy families we see some breathtaking locations and this is a real treat for fans of Jacobean architecture, in particular the Tewksbury family home is stunning.

Harry Bradbeer at first appeared to be a strange choice to direct this movie because his only work I was familiar with was Fleabag. Then when I did my research, on paper he looked like the perfect choice. His experience directing the successful Fleabag obviously complimented the comedy edge this movie has. Then I see he also directed period pieces like Dickensian and Grantchester and experience in the two key elements of Enola Holmes proved a winning combination. 

CAST

Possibly the only thing better than the beautiful settings was the amazing cast. Millie Bobby Brown is becoming a leading star after her breakthrough role in Stranger Things. I was completely in awe of such a compelling and commanding performance from someone so young. Many child actors have struggled over the years to continue being a star in their adult career, this is something I don’t think Millie Bobby Brown should have any fears about.

Playing Sherlock Holmes was Superman himself Henry Cavill who was allowed to use his natural British accent for once. Sherlock was only a secondary character but Cavill was a very convincing British detective. Accompanying Sherlock in most scenes was his brother Mycroft who was portrayed by fellow Brit Sam Claflin (Hunger Games, Adrift). I found the charisma from Cavill and the uptight British snob from Claflin played well together and lit up every scene they were in.

The remainder of the supporting cast is filled with more top british talent like Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, The King’s Speech) Adel Akhtar (Trollied, The Big Sick) Hattie Morahan (Beauty and the Beast, Mr Holmes) Frances De La Tour (History Boys, Into the Woods) and Susan Wokoma (The Inbetweeners 2, Year of the Rabbit).

Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises, Pacific Rim) deserves a special mention as the movie’s main adversary against Enola. He plays a strong silent role with great presence and a creepy persona. 

Finishing out the cast is young Louis Partridge (Paddington 2, Medici) who plays Marquis Tewkesbury and he is another young star I’m sure will have a big career ahead of him. Working well alongside Brown the two of them had great onscreen chemistry. 

FINAL THOUGHTS 

I found Enola Holmes to be an incredibly fun, high tempo family movie. There is story and mystery there to grip the older audience and plenty of danger and adventure to entertain the younger. This is a series I hope Netflix invests in and makes multiple sequels as there are plenty of stories to be told here and I’m very interested in seeing them.

I watched this via Netflix and received no incentive for reviewing this movie.

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