Based on the book series by Nancy Springer, the titular character Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) is the 16 year old little sister of the world famous sleuth Sherlock. Growing up it was just Enola and her mum Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), who instead of the expected education for girls at the time taught her history, literature, science, sports and how to fight. One morning Enola woke up to find her mum has scarpered in the night, with no note or clues as to why and where. From then on the hunt begins as Enola unearths and follows the clues with plenty of mischief happening along the way.
Director Harry Bradbeer (Fleabag, Killing Eve) has made a whimsical Sherlock Holmes spin off in a rather twee victorian setting – from the bucolic countryside to an oddly clean London – but with a modern, girl power slant. Enola is the one leading the charge and solving the riddles, seemingly one step ahead of her famous brother. It is an upbeat, family friendly romp with a positive message but very little else. It is dull, too lightweight and bereft of any real intrigue, as all future developments are clearly signposted for all to see.
Millie Bobby Brown is full of charm as the chipper and resilient Enola, although her constant, smarmy monologues to camera are very aggravating and reminiscent of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – the more they happen, the more irksome the lead character becomes. Helena Bonham Carter is good as Enola’s mysterious mum but is mostly relegated to snippets, flashbacks and 10 minutes at the end. There is nothing much to say about Sherlock Holmes, as played by Henry Cavill, as he is just there to add colour and texture to the fast paced capers happening front and centre. Mycroft Holmes is similarly in the background but more interesting, Sam Claflin plays the snooty and sneering older brother well providing a nice pantomime villain.
Enola Holmes is a light and fluffy film that is devoid of the mystery and intrigue you would expect from something Holmes related. Complete with a sunny disposition, a dull plot and frequent and increasingly bothersome fourth wall breaking we have yet another disappointing Netflix film. Save yourself the bother and rewatch Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock on the BBC iplayer.