Movie Review: Enola Holmes (2020)

Synopsis: Living alone with her widowed mother, 16-year-old Enola Holmes barely knows her famous brother, Sherlock, but could easily match his intelligence. When Enola wakes one morning to find her mother missing, she is determined to figure out what happened. However, her oldest brother, Mycroft, unhappy with the way she has been raised, wants to send her to a finishing school instead. She runs away to London dressed as a boy and, along the way, she meets a young viscount and ultimately has to help prevent his murder.

Who's in it? The movie stars Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Louis Patridge and Helen Bonham Carter.

Review: When I first saw previews for this movie on Netflix, I was both intrigued and a bit cautious. I have enjoyed Sherlock Holmes' books and some movies but not all films are the same, especially those that don't necessarily plan to stick to the original canon. In other words, this movie looked interesting in the previews but also had the potential to not be very good.

I finally got around to watching it this week and, after finishing it this morning, I have to say I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I thought I would.

Millie Bobby Brown is fantastic as the lead character, Enola. She brings just the right amount of lightheartedness to the role, enough to keep the movie fresh and interesting without crossing a line that would have made it too silly. I also liked how the movie portrayed the heroine in a fairly balanced way, strong but still with some weaknesses (including not necessarily being able to win a fight against a man twice her size).

At first, I wasn't a huge fan of her romantic interest, the Viscount Tewkesbury (Partidge) because I was afraid the movie would start focusing a little too much on that relationship but, as the film progressed and his story intersected a bit more with hers, that part of the plot did grow on me, especially since it wasn't completely clear how the attempts on his life were connected to her missing mother (Carter).

My only real complaint about this movie is I didn't like how Mycroft (Claflin) was portrayed. In the books, he's Sherlock's equal in every way except not being as ambitious. This movie pretty much glossed over his superior intelligence and mostly just made him into an ass. Frankly, I'm not even sure why the movie needed him considering Sherlock (Cavill) could have just as easily been the person insisting Enola go to a finishing school (only to be won over later).

Final Opinion: This is a surprisingly good film with a likable lead character and decent mystery. I'd recommend taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: A


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