September 7th, 2020
MOVIE: ENOLA HOLMES
STARRING: MILLIE BOBBY BROWN; HENRY CAVILL; SAM CLAFLIN;
DIRECTED BY: HARRY BRADBEER
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 2 STARS (Out of 4)
As someone who would describe himself as a fan of anything Sherlock Holmes, it brings me no joy in disliking Enola Holmes. This is a new angle on the classic world of the great investigator, not focusing on Mr. Sherlock, but focusing on his precocious teenage sister- Enola (Millie Bobby Brown). As she constantly reminds you, Enola backwards is alone, but what one would typically expect from a Sherlock Holmes movie is not a lonely jaunt, but an adventure, a mystery, or a case that only a brilliant person could crack. Instead, Enola Holmes is not much of an adventure at all, and it’s more of an origin story for Netflix, clearly hoping that their Stranger Things star will make more Holmes movies in her growing fame. Enola Holmes is elementary my friend.
It would be wrong to compare this version of a Holmes story to any of the many interpretations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work, but one should at least hope for the whip smart approach that Guy Ritchie took in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Enola introduces herself in a fourth wall breaking fashion, catching us up on her life, her mother Mrs. Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter), and the delightful fun the two have together. They share stories, play tennis inside the house, do word puzzles with one another, and even conduct their own science experiments together. When Enola arrives home to find her mother missing, her brothers Mycroft (Sam Claflin) and the ever-famous Sherlock (Henry Cavill) are called in to figure out what to do…with Enola. Finding mother is not a priority for the boys, so Enola runs off in search of her mom and finds a possible romance and a little bit of adventure.
In 2020, Millie Bobby Brown is arguably one of the biggest stars today. She’s the leading hero of Stranger Things, a big part of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and perfect for the role of Sherlock Holmes-type. Sadly, director Harry Bradbeer and writer Jack Thorne fail to spice up the adventure. There’s a brief chase on a train, where Enola and love interest Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) jump to get away from pursuing bad guys, and then a whole lot of wandering around. When you’re hoping it will turn into Enola solving codes or chasing clues, instead everything is just laid out in front of us, with Enola going to London, following the Lord, and needing his help more than he needs her. Not to mention, Enola’s breaking of the fourth wall becomes excruciatingly redundant.
I would not say it is all doom and gloom for Enola Holmes. It certainly looks good. The costumes are gorgeous, the sets are authentic, and constantly divine. Maybe the writer and director just wanted to stay true to the source material by Nancy Springer? The cast is fine as well, Sam Claflin perfectly playing the arrogant older brother, while Cavill uses his charm to play Sherlock, although, once again, Cavill’s performance is limited in appearance. It’s quite possible that Enola Holmes is lacking because this is clearly the first in what will be a long running series of movies for Netflix. Maybe the best is yet to come?
Either way, I was shocked with how bored I was watching Enola Holmes. It looks good and Millie Bobby Brown is perfect for the role. Sadly, everything about the story fails to do this movie justice. This is not much of a mystery and it’s not much of an adventure either. This is the kind of case you pass on and wait for something better to come along. And if you are anything like Sherlock Holmes it would be better to be two steps ahead and skip this. Case closed.
ENOLA HOLMES IS ON NETFLIX SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2020
Written by: Leo Brady