What Enola Holmes 2 (2022) lacks in narrative, it makes up for in Millie Bobby Brown’s performance

Dive into yet another playful adventure and help up-and-coming detective Enola Holmes solve a missing-persons case, one that goes a lot deeper than anyone expected. Can Enola Holmes 2 right the wrongs of its predecessor to become something great? Read on to find out.

Despite a somewhat bland narrative, the first film ended up being a pretty decent watch, capitalising on Millie Bobby Brown’s very charismatic performance. As for this sequel, it’s unfortunately more of the same, with perhaps a slight improvement on the mystery front. I say “unfortunately” because I still feel like this ‘Enola Holmes’ premise, with Millie at the forefront, has the opportunity to be great, but something about the narrative is holding it back. I love a good murder mystery, or in this case a ‘missing persons case’. There’s something exciting about getting roped in to a twist-filled mystery, but that hasn’t really happened in this franchise. I can say I was intrigued by the mystery this time, and interested in piecing together an answer, but I was never really on the edge of my seat. “Interested, but not invested” is how I’d describe my engagement with this film.

At just over two hours, the narrative runs a little long, with the pacing being stretched out a little too much. A couple of short arcs feel needlessly injected to keep characters relevant in the film. The story feels plagued by its constant need to weave in characters that don’t entirely need to be there, just because they were in the first film. For instance, I like Helena Bonham Carter and think she plays a fun character in this franchise, but there’s no reason for her to be in here. If anything, she just soaks up runtime, leading to a certain prison sequence that is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Stuff like that bogs down the film.

It sounds like I’ve been very negative on the story, but it does have its moments. When it comes to the code-cracking and clue-solving portions of the narrative, the scenes tied directly to the core mystery, it had my full attention. There’s some cool reveals and character turns that are well integrated, and it all comes to a fine conclusion. In other words, there’s some enjoyable elements to the story, but it’s not the highlight of the movie.

Speaking of the film’s highlight, there’s absolutely no surprise that it’s Millie Bobby Brown herself. She carries the entire movie on her shoulders and lights up the screen with her boundless charm and charisma. She plays a very loveable character who is easy to root for, and even sells us on the ass-kicking qualities of the character. It’s great casting because she really does fit all aspects of the role. Even the comedic elements are predominantly delivered by her, with some fun fourth-wall-breaking moments along the way. Henry Cavill appears once again in a supporting role as Sherlock Holmes, and he has his own little arc throughout the film. Considering he’s known for huge roles such as Superman and Geralt, his presence isn’t distracting in the slightest. Rather, he complements Millie Bobby Brown’s performance and exhibits great chemistry whenever they’re both on screen.

On a little side note, the character Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge) is given a slightly stronger presence than in the first film, where he was one of the most insufferable elements. The character isn’t the most engaging part of this mystery in the slightest, but he fits in to the story better than I had expected.

In the end, Enola Holmes 2 is nothing to write home about, but it’s an enjoyable ride nonetheless. Headlined by a fantastic Millie Bobby Brown performance that’s dripping in charisma, the film prioritises having fun in almost every moment. The story is overly drawn out and not quite as strong as it could be, but it doesn’t detract from the well-executed twists and reveals. In regards to the first film, this adventure is more of the same. So, if you loved the first, you’ll love this one – but if you disliked the first, this outing won’t make a fan out of you.

6.3/10

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