Where I Watched It: Netflix
Audio Description Provided By: Descriptive Video Works
Written By: Sarah Vindel
Narrated By Sophie Benson
While I don’t have an existing review of the original, even though I usually go back through and review a film’s prior entries when a sequel drops, it’s because I was one of the few people underwhelmed by Enolah Holmes to begin with. It’s not that Millie Bobbi Brown isn’t good in the role, I just didn’t find the initial entry that attention grabbing.
Here, the titular detective has opened her own office, but no one wants to hire a young girl to be their detective. She’s just closing up shop when a desperate match girl shows up because her friend has gone missing. I was intrigued by the concept of Match girls, as I wasn’t thinking this was a thing, but of course, how else were matches made before automation?
The mystery itself is fine this time around, and has some twists and turns, and Brown is still solid in the role. It’s a nice departure from her work on Stranger Things, and it’s nice to see a strong female lead be able to do this case all on her…
Oh wait. Henry Cavill co-stars. You might think that a story focused on a brother/sister investigative adventure would be super fun. You would be wrong. The first film already established the shadow Enolah lives in, and giving her a sequel where her business is failing, and she finally gets her own case, only for the film to manage to rope Sherlock back in, is the opposite of girl power. Every breakthrough Enolah makes here is overshadowed by her brother’s looming presence, and his large amount of screentime.
It should have been just her case. Maybe a quick cameo from Cavill, to acknowledge he still exists, much like how Helena Bonham Carter is still in this. She’s not helping Enolah solve crimes, but her character didn’t disappear.
Another problem is the tone shift. i felt like this one pushed the humor and fourth wall breaking further than the original. I’m not sure why. It worked when Downey added humor to the part, but plenty of actors have played these roles in less quirky ways. Why Enolah feels the need to talk to us all the time is odd, and it breaks up the momentum.
The case they gave Enolah appears to be based on a real life incident, which you learn about at the end. The gravitas added by that revelation is quickly swept away as there is a mid-credits sequence that sets up a future for Cavill’s Sherlock, and does nothing to further the actual title character this film is about.
This might be called Enolah Holmes 2, but it might have just as well been called Sherlock And Enolah, since she somehow feels like an afterthought in her own movie.
The audio description is fine, and since the movie switches gears frequently between straight up comedy, to mystery, and action, this team had their work cut out for them. It’s a period piece, there are visual clues to help solve the mystery that need to be relayed, and there’s also a romantic subplot for reasons unknown. Either they think the female audience needs to see Enolah paired up, or they are still having a really hard time figuring how to write a strong female detective lead.
Sorry, Miss Brown, but you deserve better. If the third film features Cavill at all, you should turn it down. Stop letting him appear to save the day and mansplain for the audience. you need to be able to carry your own film in your own franchise.
Final Grade: C