Enola Holmes 2 (2022)

Rating: B

Dir: Harry Bradbeer
Star: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, David Thewlis, Louis Partridge

Having enjoyed the first outing so much I was vaguely dreading reviewing this, and I can say up-front that if you’re not a fan of having the fourth wall broken, then you are not going to enjoy this film.  So you can stop reading now.

This feels very much like a film-script that was filmed, and much less like a story being told.  It’s is also the perfect fare for a Sunday afternoon spent with good company and nice drinks.  Much like #1 it’s fun, amusing, engaging and clever enough without ever being too demanding.  The baddies are suitably ‘boo-worthy’ and the goodies similarly ‘hurrah’able’.

To be frank if you liked the first one, you’ll like this one, so you can stop reading now too.

This is cut from the same cloth as before, albeit there’s less of the feeling of the Railway Children about it, and sometimes has the feeling of ‘Miranda’ (a UK TV series), which didn’t sit comfortably for me.  It feels more like a check list of ‘to be included’ elements that has been filmed, and filmed very well indeed, with much of the scene setting exquisitely done and the cinematography well up to snuff, caw bilmey mista, ain’t’it just!  Apples-and-pears!

I suppose because it is less unexpected on every level it lacked the sparkle, immediacy and urgent pull of #1.  Nonetheless, it’s polished, slick, very well realised and acted, with even Henry Cavill doing something actually analogous to acting.  Yeah, I know!?  I needed a half hour lay down after and still feel queasy!  (I’m not a fan of the plank.)

The film is two hours long and feels it, without actually bogging down.

So the story?  Well, Enola has started a detective agency and business is very not booming, whilst Sherlock is busy garnering headlines galore, and mummy Holmes is popping in for bouncy, quirky and fun cameos… …and explosions…

Enola’s girls at the match factory are dying, Sherlock’s government money is going missing, and someone called Moriarty lurking around, having such fun as the game is afoot (again), and this is the play-ground for our players to play out their roles.

Anyway, and ‘who’d have thought it’, Sherlock’s current and Enola’s only case overlap, and finally Helena B-C arrives to enliven , energise, animate and give somehow a sense of centre, gravity, urgency and focus. (Yes, I’m a fan.)

I could say more about the plot but Jim normally does that far better than I, and to be honest it’s almost wallpaper in any event.  Whereas in the first film the story was the reason for everything, here it feels somehow almost tangential.

And finally, with forty minutes still to go, you feel the end of the film is nigh.  But.  No.

I watched this film twice.  Once to review it, and thought it flat and trite but still gave it a B-.  The second time through was simply to watch it with a niece* and enjoy spending time together.  And this time through I enjoyed it more, up to a B+.

So.  B.

* Sophie’s score was B-.