Enola Holmes is the female offspring of the Sherlock family, but very tomboyish with it, despite the long hair.
The film opens with a brief run-through her early life, telling us how “Enola spelt backwards is.. alone”, and how she mostly grew up with her mother because her father died when she was young, while her brothers, Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) moved away while she was young, but now they’ve returned to the fold, just as mum has moved away and left Enola to it.
Millie Bobbie Brown (Godzilla: King Of The Monsters), as Enola, frequently breaks the fourth wall as she narrates to the camera, initially about how she thinks she’s made a spiritual connection with her absent mother simply by putting letters together from a Scrabble bag. This sounds very ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy‘…
Soon after, she meets a young lad whilst they’re running from a baddie on a train – Linthorn (Burn Gorman) – who’s been trying to kill him by throwing him off said train. But why would anyone want to kill him? Because he’s the one and only Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge)… although I still never understood why that was an issue, but anyway.
She also wants to break free beacuse the alternative is attending a Finishing School for Young Ladies run by Miss Harrison (Fiona Shaw), preferring to go to London in search of her mother.
And so, Enola Holmes, as a film, does rather ramble on as the young pair get to know each other, and their journey isn’t wholly interesting… then they separate while she goes looking for Mum, and then they come back together, and so on…
It’s also not as clever or funny as it thinks it is, especially when it implements a ton of fast-cutting during a scene so there’s lots of unnecessary edits. It’s like they’re trying to copy Guy Ritchie’s never-ending Sherlock Holmes movies.
The film also gets a bit tiresome with it being so wordy – and despite this film being set in 1864, Millie’s Holmes character often drops in a lot of modern parlance, while there’s too much nodding to the camera every five seconds. Then again, it’s probably aimed more at the teenage market more than the adult market. Hence, no doubt I’ll be proved wrong, it’ll be a massive hit, spawn a couple of sequels and that’s more cash in the bank for Ms Brown, who’s also one of the producers, despite being just 16 years old.
However, in my view, while there’s probably a good story to be told about the sister of Sherlock, this isn’t it.
All that said, I did like that old-style car that she drives in the final third. Whether it’s true to the period, I have absolutely no idea.
Enola Holmes is on Netflix from Wednesday September 23rd, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 123 minutes
Release date: September 23rd 2020
Format: 2.35:1 (Arri Alexa 65)
Director: Harry Bradbeer
Producers: Millie Bobby Brown, Paige Brown, Alex Garcia, Ali Mendes, Mary Parent
Screenplay: Jack Thorne
Novel: Nancy Springer
Music: Daniel Pemberton
Enola Holmes: Millie Bobby Brown
Sherlock Holmes: Henry Cavill
Mycroft Holmes: Sam Claflin
Eudoria Holmes: Helena Bonham Carter
Lord Tewksbury: Louis Partridge
Linthorn: Burn Gorman
Inspector Lestrade: Adeel Akhtar
Edith: Susan Wokoma
Sir Whimbrel: David Bamber
The Dowager: Frances de la Tour
Mrs Lane: Claire Rushbrook
Miss Harrison: Fiona Shaw
Young Enola: Sofia Stavrinou
Young Sherlock Holmes: Owen Atlas
Toddler Enola: Sophie Dixon
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.