Nutshell Review: Enola Holmes
PG Score: 6/10
Enola Holmes is very much a hit and miss outing for Netflix. Based on the novel The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer, the movie follows the teenage sister of Sherlock Holmes as she embarks on a journey to find her missing mother and uncovers a dangerous plot surrounding a young Lord in the process. The titular character is played by Millie Bobby Brown, who does an admirable job in the leading role. She is on screen from start to finish so it’s a huge plus that her performance is a lively one. The movie does break the fourth wall; a good portion of it involves Enola addressing the audience directly. This is usually played for laughs but it does grow repetitive after the first few times. This is no fault of Millie, however, as her screen presence is undoubtedly the highlight of Enola Holmes. There is a heap of talent to back her. Helena Bonham Carter portrays Enola’s mother, Eudoria, while Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin play her brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft, respectively. Surprisingly, the three gifted actors don’t see much screen time at all. This is even more puzzling when you consider the weighty 123 minute runtime. It’s a shame that the star-studded supporting cast is so egregiously underutilized. The film is very much a multi-genre affair. At its core, it’s a mystery, as can be expected by the household surname in the title. However, it also blends in a substantial dose of comedy, adventure, and drama. Unfortunately, this medley only works some of the time. To make matters worse, the film suffers from a severe pacing issue and the noticeable dragging dances on the precipice of boredom. The two hour runtime is partially to blame and certainly feels excessive. Quite often, Enola Holmes feels as though it can’t quite decide what it wants to be or how seriously it wants to be taken. Its identity crisis hurts it, especially given how direct the feminist messaging is. Despite it being very on the nose, it’s sometimes empowering. The trouble is that much of the steam behind this important subject matter is lost in the abundance of silly scenes. The gags and banter are occasionally humorous but this glaring juxtaposition comes at a cost. The latest Netflix original film struggles to find firm footing in the jungle of genres it frequently jumps between and is further hampered by a conflicting message and an underused supporting cast. Millie Bobby Brown’s performance and a few laughs somewhat alleviate these flaws but not enough to balance the scales altogether. While Enola Holmes doesn’t warrant immediate attention, it is still a case worth solving...eventually.