Enola Holmes 2 is fun, girl-power entertainment
The story: Fresh off the triumph of her first case in her 2020 Netflix hit, 16-year-old Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown), a sleuth the equal of famous big brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill), is hired to find a missing match factory girl.
Enola Holmes 2, based on The Enola Holmes Mysteries teen book series by Nancy Springer, expands Enola’s spirited adventures into the adult world of 1880s Victorian London where, having opened her own detective agency, she is finding herself laughed off for being young and female.
The match factory mystery is her one break. It takes her from smoggy sweatshops to a high society ball, to nothing less than a deadly conspiracy connected to Sherlock’s own investigation into official corruption.
The rivalrous siblings will have to partner up.
Their dynamic adds to a fleet and smart sequel that is, for all its crime-fighting derring-do, most satisfying in the brainiac pair’s meticulous puzzle-solving.
Cavill is a dashing Sherlock. Also returning alongside Emmy-winning Fleabag (2016 to 2019) director Harry Bradbeer and his screenwriter Jack Thorne are Helena Bonham Carter as the suffragist Holmes mother, Enola’s “nincompoop” crush Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) and Inspector Lestrade (Adeel Akhtar). David Thewlis plays the villain, a viperous Scotland Yard superintendent.
But, of course, Brown with her comic flair and irrepressible personality remains the star of her family-friendly action franchise that is part fact, inspired by historic events during Britain’s era of social reform. This episode embeds Enola in the 1888 match girls’ strike. She is plucky and resourceful, allying with the workers in the incipient women’s rights movement, and a winning heroine even for girls today.
Hot take: Fun girl-power entertainment is afoot.
Verdict: 3 stars