George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
2020 Releases Ranked-HERE
Enola Holmes is a 2020 British mystery/comedy film directed by Harry Bradbeer and stars Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes, Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes and Sam Claflin as Mycroft Holmes along with a few others. The film is based on the book series "Enola Holmes" by Nancy Springer and premiered today (September 23rd) on Netflix.
Going into Enola Holmes I must say I wasn't anticipating much. The fourth-wall-breaking trailer just seemed way too on the nose for me and made the film appear to be rather childish and annoying. However, despite what the trailer made me believe, this wasn't as bad as I first thought and did turn out to be quite a fun ride.
Sherlock Holmes has always been a character that has been played by the upmost talent with Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch and now Henry Cavill all portraying him within the last two decades. (That's Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Superman all portraying the same character!) however, it's not Sherlock we focus on this time round, nor his older brother Mycroft (who's a bit of an ass), but his younger sister Enola Holmes. Millie Bobby Brown's fourth-wall-breaking protagonist ultimately turned out to be quite excellent as her performance along with her chemistry alongside Henry Cavill and Louis Partridge (who plays Lord Tewksbury) were some of the highlights of the film for me. Despite Millie and Henry being the ultimate standouts, Sam Claflin also did quite a good job playing the subtle bad guy and both Helena Bonham Carter and Adeel Akhtar gave two good performances despite their limited screen time.
However, the problem I have with the film doesn't lay in the performances, nor the slightly repetitive storyline, but does land within the "talking to the camera moments". This Hollywood trend can either go brilliantly for example in films such as Deadpool, The Wolf of Wall Street and Ferris Bueller's Day Off or it can go disastrously wrong and feel awkward throughout. Unfortunately its the latter that Enola Holmes slightly edges towards, don't get me wrong some of the fourth wall breaking and "talking to the camera" antics are pulled off well but sadly quite a few others felt forces and quite awkward to watch at times and that's what ultimately let this film down the most for me.
In a world where Sherlock Holmes is an iconic figure, Enola Holmes could have easily felt like a cheep rip off for the feminine age, but a star studded cast, bright-beautiful locations and a storyline that I became more and more interested in, all made for a rather unique enjoyable film. Whilst the film tackles themes such as feminism quite well, they hardly ever felt forced and for me, that only added to the films likability as the message never felt to heavy handed. Despite not every aspect of the film working as well as it could have and the storyline, whilst enjoyable for the most part, did feel similar to others that have come before, I did find Enola Holmes to be a good watch and one I'd very much like to see a sequel from as I’d be interested to see where her relationship with Sherlock and the Lord goes.