By Ella Smith
When the first Enola Holmes movie came out in 2020 I was skeptical about yet another Sherlock Holmes spinoff but was pleasantly surprised by the new spin on the classic plot twists and intriguing characters. With this in mind, I was interested to see how the next installment would continue the storyline.
One of the highlights of the first Enola Holmes was the intriguing and likable main characters. “Enola Holmes 2” expanded on most of the main characters from the first movie which I enjoyed. Enola’s character was consistent from the previous movie while still changing and developing. She kept her usual wit and spunkiness while still maturing in some ways. I appreciated that the development made sense and built upon the previous movie without just redoing the same plot. The only thing I would have preferred more of is her inner monologue that was featured in the first movie. That added touch lent the movie a certain tone that wasn’t as prevalent in the newest installment.
A character that could have been developed more was Grail. Since he was the main antagonistic force for most of the movie and a character who drove a good deal of the plot along he should have been more developed. He didn’t have any clear motives and was reminiscent of a cartoon villain with his unwarranted determination to oppose Enola despite not having any personal reason for it.
Another character that the movie could have incorporated more was Viscount Tewkesbury. He was relevant to the plot but largely out of the loop for most of the movie. He was a central character in the first movie and added a contrast to Enola’s reactions to situations. However, in the second installment, he doesn’t appear until a quarter into the movie and plays a much less central role. I think his character could have been woven into the main plot for a more natural development in some of the side plots.
One area the movie did well in was Sherlock’s character and making Sherlock and Enola’s sibling dynamic more central to the plot than it was in the previous film. Sherlock was introduced in the previous film and had a role in the plot but we didn’t see very much direct interaction between him and Enola. In “Enola Holmes 2” the siblings are regularly interacting in scenes and I think it adds a layer of character development to both of their characters that wasn’t present in the previous movie. “Enola holmes 2” builds upon its previous movie and shows how both Enola and Sherlock are so similar to each other and their mother but they still have some obvious differences. It’s interesting to see them both wrestle with the same issue in different ways. I liked how this film expanded on that idea and how their sibling interactions are colored by their similar love of independence and their different ways of solving cases. This comparison and contrast gave you a clearer understanding of both Enola and Sherlock and worked to emphasize the themes in the movie.
The central theme of the movie was similar to the first Enola Holmes, the need for companionship and working together with other people. In some ways, I think it was a bit too reminiscent of the first film and there could have been a bit more originality to it but it didn’t clash with any established facts from the previous Enola Holmes. Although It wasn’t a particularly deep or complicated theme, I don’t think it needed to be. It flowed with the plot and made sense for the characters and situations.
As in most mysteries, the plot is a definite high point of the film. It’s a bit slow at the beginning but it quickly picks up the pace and never slows down. It keeps you engaged in every scene trying, along with the characters, to figure out the puzzle. I did think there was one side plot that felt a little rushed instead of it being allowed to develop naturally but it still works and doesn’t distract you from enjoying it. The major plot twist at the end was unexpected in the best of ways and had the proper amount of build-up to allow it to feel natural. “Enola Holmes 2” will keep you guessing til the very end who the guilty party is.
The setting was another aspect of the film that I thought was done well. The second installment improved on the first’s ability to interweave the plot with actual historical events. I thought the historical backdrop was even more entangled with the mystery and matched the theme of the movie, making it flow with the plot and not distract from it.
In all “Enola Holmes 2” was an enjoyable sequel. It wasn’t drastically different from the first but it expanded upon it and introduced some new characters and ideas making it a good movie to watch if you’re in the mood for a light-hearted mystery.
“Enola Holmes 2” is available on Netflix now.
Ella Smith is a freshmen professional writing and informational design student as well as a writer for Cedars. She enjoys a stack of good books, leatherbound journals, and a cup of tea (with lots of honey.)
Images courtesy of Netflix