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REVIEW: Enola Holmes gives us a fun new spin on the world's greatest detective

By Rory Cashin

September 16, 2020 at 12:04pm

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The movie will arrive exclusively on Netflix.

Sherlock Holmes has been done to death lately, sometimes successfully (Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch) and sometimes less so (Will Ferrell comes to mind), but more actors have played him recently than either Batman or Spider-Man. In Enola Holmes, he is portrayed at his most handsome yet, played by Superman himself Henry Cavill, but this movie isn't about him.

Instead it focuses on his much younger sister Enola (Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown), who happens to be as intelligent as her famous older brother. She has been living in isolation in a countryside mansion with her mother (Helena Bonham Carter), but when she suddenly goes missing, Enola takes it upon herself to head to the big city of London to find her. When Enola is then declared missing, her two brothers Sherlock and Mycroft (Me Before You star Sam Clafin) set out to find both their misplaced sister and mother.

Along the way, Enola discovers that her loving mother was withholding some very dark secrets, and also gets wrapped up in an assassination plot of a young Lord, and in true Holmes mystery fashion, these two plots find ways to overlap.

Adapted by the popular YA novels by the screenwriter of the recent HBO take on His Dark Materials, and directed by a regular helmer of episodes of Fleabag and Killing Eve, the behind-the-scenes talent meld their skills brilliantly to give us a great coming-of-age story mixed in with a time when the world was awakening to the rise of feminism. Brown plays the character with just the right amount of sass and charm (although she does break the fourth wall and speak to camera a little too often), and truth be told, we would absolutely watch Cavill return for his own Holmes adventure.

At a bit over two hours, the plot does drag its feet a little here and there, very rarely giving us hints and clues to deduce alongside the on-screen heroes. The overall story, once it is revealed, is a little underwhelming, but by then you're very invested in the characters themselves, so it barely matters.

For the first time in a long time, Netflix have delivered a movie that we imagine audiences would be very happy to see sequels to, and with five more books in the Enola Holmes Mystery series, we'd imagine we'll get those sequels before too long.

Enola Holmes will arrive exclusively on Netflix from Wednesday 23 September, and you can check out the trailer right here:

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