Review: Enola Holmes

Title: Enola Holmes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Harry Bradbeer
Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin
Runtime: 2 hr 3 mins

What It Is: Enola Holmes (Brown), yes from that Holmes family, is an intelligent young lady who defies what it means to be a woman of her time. She’s determined to be independent and find her own path in life thanks to her mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter). On her sixteenth birthday, Enola discovers that Eudoria has left, but it appears, with a trace. Enola sets out to find her beloved mother but soon her mission intersects with the mystery surrounding a young lord, Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge). Enola soon has to ask herself if helping Tewkesbury or finding her mother is more important and to what extent she will risk her life to accomplish either goal.   

What We Think: I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of having to watch a movie having anything to do with Sherlock Holmes because that market is seriously oversaturated. Enola Holmes politely asked me to check my doubts at the door and proceeded to really exceed my expectations. The breaking of the fourth wall right away intrigued me and the amusement that followed didn’t wear off until the end credits rolled. The casting was absolutely perfect but it’s really no shock to anyone that Millie Bobby Brown would exceed in this film. The chemistry between her and Louis Partridge really sold the entire movie for me. On top of that, Henry Cavill is quite possibly my favorite portrayal of Sherlock but I’m glad he didn’t hog the scenes. I wish the mystery of where Enola’s mother had gone was a bit more complex and while the overall plot wasn’t anything abundantly fascinating, it was surprisingly (and refreshingly) dark at times and there were several important takeaways in terms of messages and themes. There could be valid arguments made that some plot points were a bit too convenient and a majority of the themes were explained outright instead of being relayed subtly through filmmaking. A historical scholar would probably cringe every few minutes through a viewing of this movie because of the inaccuracies but I gotta say, I was a whole lot more entertained than I was taken out of the story because of its flaws.    

Our Grade: B+, This movie may be meant more so for a fourteen-year-old girl but as a twenty-one-year-old man, I seriously fell under this film’s spell. I’m sure diehard Sherlock Holmes fans will crucify me for saying such good things about this film but, yes, I want a sequel and a franchise that overstays its welcome. I recognize it could’ve been even better but when I tell you I was predicting a dismal ‘D’ rating for this film at best, I’m being completely honest. This is without a doubt a case of expectations being blown out of the water and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Author: Cal Gessner