What is Sherlock Holmes’s clever but much younger sister to do when her mother disappears and her brothers try and ship her off to boarding school? Head to London, of course!
As a long time fan of the Enola Holmes books, I’ve been looking forward to this movie since my sister first sent me the trailer. And good news: this one really didn’t disappoint. Much. Didn’t disappoint much. But what do you expect from a bookworm when they make one of her favorite series into a movie? I’d give it a B+ and would love a sequel, please and thank you.
The movie does a lot right. The plot is action packed and fun. The costumes are colorful and well done. It tweaks (and Hollywood-izes) the original book but nothing egregious. The changes generally work well.
Millie Bobby Brown does a fantastic job as Enola. She hits the right note of naïve but brilliant. She’s funny and genuinely entertaining to watch. She’s not classically gorgeous and she fits the character perfectly.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes. I do not understand that casting decision in the slightest. And the fault doesn’t really lie with his acting abilities. He actually hits the right emotional notes as a distant, baffled, but sympathetic older brother. But not as Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is…quirky. He’s not super attractive. Henry Cavill is the embodiment of Superman. He’s blindingly handsome with his chiseled jaw and blue eyes, and it just doesn’t fit with Sherlock Holmes. Henry Cavill is also charismatic which sits awkwardly because he should be a side character but as soon as he comes on screen, the movie became Sherlock Holmes And The Search For The Missing Sister. Except this is an Enola Holmes movie. So I just….don’t get it.
(As for the rest of the cast, Sam Claflin (aka Finnick Odair) plays Mycroft Holmes and, well, that’s a decision. His hair cut was awful but he does what he can with the role and provides a good foil for Sherlock. Helena Bonham Carter does a decent job as the missing mother and mostly just fades into the background. Louis Partridge also does a good job considering his role is playing damsel in distress most of the time.)
Besides Henry Cavill, the movie suffers from too many attempts to break the 4th wall. Now, some worked really well. A few scenes felt genuinely clever and the 4th wall break enhanced the moment. Most of the time it felt like lazy narration. But then it kept doing it and finally just reached a point of excess.
For the most part, though, I enjoyed it and I really, really, really hope Netflix makes the rest of the series because it only gets better from here!
Did you watch it? What were your thoughts?