[REVIEW] ‘Enola Holmes’: A New Game is Afoot!

Longtime readers of mine will know I love Sherlock Holmes. In fact, my entire family enjoys it especially my father who had a particular affinity for the Jeremy Brett version in the 1990s. I wasn’t a big fan of the Guy Ritchie directed films with Robert Downey Jr because he was too much a James Bond type figure dodging bullets and outrunning explosions. Sherlock to me is a character of high intellect not physical strength so it missed the mark. Then the BBC series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch was wonderful for 2 seasons and then went downhill especially series 4 which was garbage.

One of the things I hated about Sherlock series 4 is his sister Eurus who basically puts him in a house with puzzles like some kind of Saw rip-off. I hated the story, and I hated her character. So when I saw Netflix was making a new series about a female Holmes family member named Enola Holmes I was both intrigued and terrified.

Fortunately Enola Holmes is charming addition to the Sherlock Holmes mythology and a promising start to a new series of hopefully many films. In this story Enola played by Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame is a much younger sister of the famed detective Sherlock Holmes. He is played here by Henry Cavill who is fantastic in the few scenes we see him in. Sam Claflin plays Mycroft Holmes and his performance didn’t work as well. He’s too angry and mean for the light-hearted tone of this film. Helena Bonham Carter is perfect as the mother of the whole clan.

Millie Bobby Brown is very good in this role and the script allows her to break the fourth wall and be cheeky and modern. It’s a lot of fun. For the most part this is a film the entire family can watch together and both boys and girls will really enjoy our smart but strong young female detective.

The only problems I have with Enola Holmes is the actual case wasn’t very interesting. This is basically an origin story movie so the film is more concerned with establishing all the key players and parts of Enola’s life and personality. The mystery involving her missing mother didn’t really do it for me. I’d like in the next film for her to get a case to solve and while she’s doing so she can find love and adventure along the way.

I also feel the movie gets too violent towards the end to be an ideal family film. Multiple characters are shot and there’s a lot of tension which is a bummer because most of the movie is appropriate for all ages.

Nevertheless Enola Holmes is a fun ride with a heroine we all need right now. She’s bold, she’s funny and she’s more than a little sarcastic. It comes to Netflix September 23 so put it on your calendar. You’ll love it!

8 out of 10


11 thoughts on “[REVIEW] ‘Enola Holmes’: A New Game is Afoot!

  1. I don’t know if you’re aware, but Enola Holmes is actually a children’s book series. I read the first one as a book discussion book with my middle school group a few years ago and they HATED it. It sounds like the movie does some things better. The main complaint they had though was that the book was boring with all of the backstory stuff. They don’t even solve the case of her missing mother in the first book because it’s a series so it felt very anticlimactic. I do think it probably works better as a movie and sounds like they made some changes.

  2. I’m really curious to see the movie, from Sean’s review, I’m not sure if it would be worth it to watch it with my husband who might spend the movie complaining about parts of it, though from the texts with Sean I might do the same thing.

    You should totally check out the Stoker and Holmes book series. YA steampunk world with Sherlock Holmes’ niece and Brahm Stoker’s much younger sister teaming up.

  3. I just watched it today and thought it was good. I agree that the “case” itself wasn’t especially interesting, which was the biggest problem for me, but Enola is a type of character that I really enjoy – she reminds me of Jacky Faber from The Bloody Jack Adventures – and Millie Bobby Brown was clearly having fun in the role. Hopefully now that the setup is done with, a future sequel would have a better story behind it.

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