Once again, the game is afoot! Millie Bobby Brown returns for another sleuthing adventure on Netflix in Enola Holmes 2.

Fresh off the triumph of solving her first case, Enola follows in the footsteps of her famous brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill), and opens her own agency — only to find that life as a female detective-for-hire isn’t as easy as it seems. Resigned to accepting the cold realities of adulthood, she is about to close shop when a penniless matchstick girl offers Enola her first official job: to find her missing sister. 

But this case proves far more puzzling than expected. As the sparks of a deadly conspiracy ignite, Enola must call upon the help of friends — and Sherlock himself — to unravel her mystery.

There’s too much Sherlock in this Enola Holmes story

Let’s get the bad out of the way first. The biggest detriment to Enola Holmes 2 is that it makes Sherlock a much more significant part of the story. In the first film, Henry Cavill’s Sherlock Holmes only appears in a few scenes; while Enola inherently exists somewhat in the shadow of her sleuthing brother’s famous cases, she’s also incredibly determined to succeed on her own. And her first film sees her go out of her way to do so – to solve the case, without the help or influence of Sherlock.

Enola Holmes 2, however, wants to show us that our lead is still young and has much to learn on her journey to becoming a great detective. That’s perfectly fine. But the plot of this movie ties Enola’s case directly to a case of Sherlock’s, leading the siblings to ultimately be working towards the same solve. This, combined with the film’s unwillingness to undercut any of Sherlock’s considerable detective skills, often leads to situations where Enola’s abilities seem to pale in comparison to her brother’s.

Arguably the most interesting clue of the film – involving a dance cypher – is solved by Sherlock. There’s a moment where it seems Enola has used her impressive skills to solve the case… only to have Sherlock reveal she’s fallen for a red herring. The ultimate “big bad” in the film has ties to Sherlock, not Enola. Over and over, it just feels like watching the Sherlock Show through an Enola filter. 

Enola Holmes 2. Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes, Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes, Louis Partridge as Tewkesbury. Cr. Alex Bailey/Netflix © 2022

I wish the pair’s cases had instead been separate but somehow parallel. Then, Enola could still learn from her brother while maintaining more of her independence. I would have liked to see Enola observe the way Sherlock made a certain connection to solve his case. Then, have that spark something in her to make the connection to solve her own. 

While her first outing made it clear Enola could stand on her own, this one pushes her back into Sherlock’s shadow a few too many times.

Enola Holmes 2 is still a fun ride

Sherlock aside, if you enjoyed Netflix’s first Enola Holmes movie, you’ll probably find you also enjoy this sequel. The tone, the humor, and the hijinks that characterized Enola’s first outing also carry over to this one. We still get some fun breaking-the-fourth-wall asides and flashbacks to Enola’s time growing up with her mother’s unique-but-effective lessons. Enola still gets into a few scraps and connects the dots to solve her case in an entertaining way.

(L to R) Millie Bobby Brown and Helena Bonham Carter in Enola Holmes 2

Several characters from the first film reappear in this sequel, including Helena Bonham Carter’s Eudoria Holmes, Susan Wokoma’s Edith, and Adeel Akhtar’s Lestrade. And of course, Louis Partridge is back as Enola’s love interest Tewkesbury. (Strictly speaking, did the plot need Tewkesbury? No. It works without him. But he gets a few cute scenes in with Enola, so it’s fine.)

Enola Holmes 2 definitely tries to dive deeper into the character, exploring not just her burgeoning detective skills, but also who she is as a person. We see Enola being forced to confront her own privilege when following Bessie home and to the matchstick factory; to deal with the gender expectations of the time period when launching her detective agency and attending the ball; and throughout the film struggling to find the balance between independence and isolation. This is a mystery, but also a coming-of-age story. 

All in all, I think Enola Holmes 2 leaned too heavily on Sherlock to let the movie rise above its first chapter. However, it’s still a fun, entertaining entry to the franchise that should appeal to fans of the original film. (And perhaps most importantly, charming enough that viewers will likely come back for yet another installment, if Netflix chooses to make one.)

Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes. Cr. Alex Bailey/Netflix © 2022

Enola Holmes 2 premieres on Netflix November 4.

Keep Reading: