Enola Holmes is back, and if it ain’t broke . . . don’t fix it! Enola Holmes 2 has everything you loved about the first film: a fun, adventurous YA mystery, Millie Bobby Brown (as Enola) regularly breaking the fourth wall to quip to the camera, hilarious hijinx, dangerous fight scenes, well-rounded supporting characters, and lots of girl power.
The film opens with Enola starting a detective agency—but of course she can’t compete with her famous brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill, dressed in baggy period clothing to hide his super physique). She is investigating a missing girl and winds up infiltrating a match factory staffed entirely by girls and young women. (The central struggle of the film was based on an event called the “matchgirls’ strike” of 1888.) Luckily, their cases wind up being connected, so we get plenty of wonderful scenes of them working together as detectives as well as getting in scrapes.
These unsanitized films aren’t afraid to put their young leads in danger, and Enola takes more than a few hard hits (and delivers some too). Louis Partridge is back as Lord Tewkesbury and their relationship heats up, though Enola still makes it clear she doesn’t need a man to be successful. And both Susan Wokoma and Helena Bonham Carter are back to provide some much needed ass-kicking and explosions. Newcomers to the series include the deliciously devilish David Thewlis, who plays a terrifyingly violent police inspector, Grail; and Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Mira Troy, who does a great job coaxing and coaching Enola toward realizing her love for Tewkesbury. While much of writer Jack Thorne’s screenplay copies tropes from the previous film, the additional Sherlock Holmes lore that is expanded in this film, and the return of the characters we love, make this adventure well worth taking. PG-13, 129 min.