The movie Enola Holmes is currently airing on Netflix. It caught my attention for two reasons. First, its star is part of the bright young cast of the series Stranger Things. Millie Bobby Brown played the young girl rescued from a bizarre science experiment in that series. She was known in Stranger Things simply as Eleven. In Enola Holmes she plays the starring role, the baby sister of Sherlock Holmes. This is our first chance to see her in something that allows her to stretch her legs and talent, showing us what she’s capable of. The second reason I wanted to check out this movie is because of its connection to Sherlock Holmes. That character is played by none other than Superman, Henry Cavill.
SHORT PLOT SUMMARY
We learn at the outset that young Enola Holmes is raised entirely by her mother. When mother suddenly disappears from the house, Enola’s two big brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft, come home to try to figure out where she went. Enola finds clues left by her mother. Her brothers don’t believer her, so she sets off on her own. From there, Enola goes off on a wild adventure. Along the way she meets a teenage boy named Tewkesbury who is running away from his rich family. Although the two of them don’t get along at first, they eventually end up helping each other on their personal missions. Enola’s more famous brother, Sherlock, helps Enola eventually, but it’s soon made clear that Enola’s sleuthing abilities are just as strong if not better than Sherlock’s.
WHAT I LIKED
My favorite part of this movie is Millie Bobby Brown. She is magical to watch, handling every scene and every emotion with ease. I believe she has quite an exciting future as an actress and I’m looking forward to see where she goes next in Hollywood. I also enjoyed the fast paced story with some surprising twists and a strong dose of humor.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Enola Holmes has two flaws that I found annoying. The first one isn’t that big of a deal. In fact, I got more used to it as the film went on, but I still feel like it weakened the movie to some degree. I did not like the way Enola spoke to the camera constantly throughout the movie. There were also times where she wasn’t speaking but she reacted to the camera with her facial expressions. Those scenes took me out of the story every time and made it difficult to keep my focus on what was happening.
The other issue was an even worse flaw in my opinion. The writers and producers of this movie were so intent on making Enola better than everyone else, especially the male characters, that they went over the top, causing her character to seem off balance much of the time. What do I mean? She was shown to be far superior to the teenage boy in the story who turns out to be her love interest. Her character comes across as smarter, stronger, braver, and more athletic. Now I know there are plenty of women who are these things and can best men at many pursuits. Enola Holmes is plainly a superior person in all respects. That’s not the issue. The issue is, there is no reason she should be attracted to Tewkesbury. He comes across as completely inept and far inferior to her. Frankly, he seems like a wimpy jerk who spends much of the time gawking at how wonderful she is. There is nothing attractive about him other than his looks (I suppose.) By trying so hard to show that this young woman doesn’t need help from any man, they’ve made her love interest seem laughable. To a lesser degree, they also did a disservice to her older brother Sherlock. He at least comes across as smart and caring. But, they give him very little to do that is befitting to the classic character of Sherlock Holmes. He makes a few helpful deductions along the way, but misses all the important ones. Those, of course, can only be found by Enola. There is nothing remarkable about him as would be expected of the famous Sherlock Holmes.
Enola Holmes could have been a great movie. It has a first rate actress and a very clever story. I just wish the producers had been less concerned about showing how women are superior to men and been more concerned about making a great movie that would transcend to all audiences and stand the test of time.