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Enola 2

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“And that is a job well done.” Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown)

Enola Holmes is “plucky.” The detective-for-hire and little sister of Sherlock is afoot with a search for a missing matchstick girl. Although it is rare in the Holmes canon to be based on a specific event, Enola 2, directed again by Henry Bradbeer, takes the original Matchgirls’ Strike and uses the disappearance of not just one girl but a slew of them who died from typhus while working in a 19th century match factory.

Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things and Emmy-nominated) is in Enola Holmes 2, a welcome sequel to Netflix’s original 2020 Nancy Springer adaptation. She’s a droll young detective full of energy for her profession, feisty when perturbed, comical when she joins forces with her famous brother, a sodden Sherlock (Henry Cavill), and lightly romantic as befitting a bright, attractive woman on the rise. Although I have reservations about her flirtation with Lord Tewksbury as distracting, I’ll wait to see how ingeniously writer Jack Thorne can be considering Sherlock had maybe a brief romance with Irene Adler if you could call it that.

Because Enola 2 is a YA novel in the main, it has a light tone even though the interior shots are too dark for my taste. Actually, the fight scenes are inscrutable (dark and quickly cut). Her jujitsu sets take the Holmes canon to a new, fanciful level that will delight tweens as well as their parents.

This youthful camera suits the material, a robust extension of the many-adaptations Sherlock has inspired, even accepting failures like Mycroft. Enola Holmes is no failure.

Sherlock Holmes: [to Watson in Sherlock Holmes movie] “Never theorize before you have data.”

Inspector Lestrade: “You know, in another life, you'd have made an excellent criminal.”

Enola Holmes 2

Director: Harry Bradbeer (Enola Holmes)

Screenplay: Jack Thorne (National Treasure)

Cast: Millie Bobby Brown (Enola Holmes), Henry Cavill (Justice League)

Run Time: 2h 9m

Rating: PG 13

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts NPR’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics as well as podcasts Back Talk and Double Take out of WCBE 90.5 FM. Contact him at JohnDeSando52@gmail.com