Enola Holmes review: Maddening plot almost saved by remarkable Millie Bobby Brown and co

Enola Holmes (played by Millie Bobby Brown) seems like it should not have been a risk for Netflix. With a collection of well-loved books backing its narrative, the story’s path should have been an easy one to etch out – however it begins to falter just a few scenes in. Enola (which is “alone” spelled backwards, by the way) was brought up by her mother, Mrs. Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter), the only person and only friend she has ever known for her entire life.

The pair live a perfectly happy life in their obscurely lavish mansion in the countryside of Britain, a life that seems will never end.

However one day Enola awakens to find her mother has disappeared, prompting her to invite her famous detective brothers Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft Holmes (Sam Claflin) to help her find their mother.

When things don’t go quite as Enola had planned, she embarks on her own journey to find her mother, sparking a number of narrative devises that launch her headfirst into a collection of plots.

From stumbling upon a secret collection of women learning how to fight, to discovering the truth behind Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge), Enola has quite a lot going on throughout its lengthy timestamp.

Unfortunately, none of these stories are as bombastic or as well thought out as that of the case of the missing Mrs. Holmes. Double-crosses, secret dastardly plots, and political collusion could each have made for a decent movie – but together it all feels rushed, cheap, and hard to watch.

And when things are eventually wrapped up in the final minutes of the film – with a hefty chunk of bait left dangling to beckon in sequels – viewers will most likely feel a bit confused by how it all went down.

While some details simply aren’t that exciting, the worst offender in the story is the constant fourth-wall breaking.

Over the course of the film Enola constantly stares straight into the camera and begins dictating how she is feeling, or indeed what is actually happening at that moment.

It is more than frustrating, and after the first hour of it, fans will certainly be completely fed up of it.

The eccentricity certainly works in things such as Fleabag and Deadpool – but Enola Holmes makes it feel entirely forced.

Thankfully, the best part of the film is its cast.

Enola is expertly played by a flourishing Millie Bobby Brown, who really feels like she has come into her own as a young actor.

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The star has a lot of fun with the role, and younger viewers will absolutely love watching her dive through hoops (sometimes literally) to save her skin at the last second.

Moreover, the Holmes brothers are particularly fantastic.

Henry Cavill is glorious in literally everything he has ever done – yes, including Red Riding Hood – and he continues to perform well as the World’s Greatest Detective.

If anything, his scenes simply beg for a more robust display of Sherlock Holmes in the future.

Mycroft star Sam Claflin is similarly good – with a notably violent scene in the carriage as a standout for the actor.

While Helena Bonham Carter doesn’t appear in the film for too long, Louis Partridge is enjoyable to watch as he feels his way around screen. He is, however, engulfed by the aforementioned Bobby Brown.

Enola Holmes has an incredible foundation. The fantastic background of the books obviously has some merit to it, and the cast is full to the brim with fantastic actors, all of whom put their best foot forward during the latest Netflix family romp. Unfortunately, the plot is absolutely maddening. It twists and turns to no end and will most likely leave a bad taste in viewers’ mouths. Thankfully, the cast save as much as they can, with Cavill, Claflin, and Bobby Brown taking on some exceptional performances throughout the two hour flick.

Enola Holmes is available on Netflix now.

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