Movie Review: Enola Holmes 2 (2022)
Synopsis: After her successful adventure saving Lord Tewkesbury from assassination, Sherlock Holmes' sister, Enola, starts her own detective agency specializing in finding missing people only to learn people weren't interested in hiring a woman, especially since her brother was given sole credit for her only case. As she is about to give up, Enola is hired by an orphan in search of her missing older "sister," who worked in a match factory and theater. The case becomes more complex than Enola anticipated, seeming to be related to a case her brother is working on and ultimately getting her arrested for murder.
Review: I enjoyed Enola Holmes more than expected when I watched it last year and, while I did have some doubts about the sequel, decided it was worth taking the time to watch it. I was able to do that yesterday evening and this morning and have to admit it was pretty good.
Enola (Brown) is an entertaining and well-written character. She's smart and independent and is able to defend herself in a fight. Yet, at the same time, the filmmakers remember she's just a teenager and lets her inexperience, emotions and awkwardness slip in. This, in turn, leads to some very funny and believable situations for her, including one of my favorites, her awkwardness as she tried to fit in at a ball (the part with the fans had me laughing).
The movie does a great job supporting the character by giving her a legitimate mystery that, in itself, made the film worth watching. It was hard to see how "match girl" Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd) tied in with a theft, blackmail, a series of mysterious bank transactions being investigated by Sherlock (Cavill) and murder. Plus, every time Enola found a clue, there was the obviously corrupt Superintendent Grail (Thewlis) nipping at her heels, making the case even more confusing because it was unclear who he was working for.
The movie also has a good mix of action scenes. The prison break scene was entertaining and funny while the final fight involving Enola, Sherlock and Tewkesbury (Partridge) against the bad guys was surprisingly intense, especially since two of the three seemed to be outmatched. If you throw in the big reveal about who Holmes' arch nemesis, Moriarity, was and the tribute to the real-life Sarah Chapman at the very end, it was a very memorable movie.
I don't say this very often, but I also found I enjoyed the budding love story between Enola and Tewkesbury. It was obviously a bit predictable, but I liked how the movie made it more of a casual thing and didn't make it seem forced.
Plus, much like the first movie, I liked her relationship with her brother. It was obvious Sherlock cared for his sister/ward and wanted to protect her. However, at the same time, he respected her independence and showed her a great deal of respect whenever she was pointing out clues to him. He didn't let on that he probably spotted the clues too and, when he pointed out something she missed, he did it in a way that wasn't condescending. Basically, he's an awesome role model for her.
Final Opinion: I liked the first movie, but I honestly think I might have liked this one more. It's worth taking the time to watch both if you haven't already.
My Grade: A