The game is on (again) in “Enola Holmes 2,” a wonderful showcase for Millie Bobby Brown that this time manages to bring the character’s famous brother, Sherlock, more organically into the mix. Throw in factual arguments about horrible working conditions during the time and you have the makings of a very polished sequel, one that makes everything seem elementary and very funny.
“Some of what follows is true,” notes the live-action script early on, as Enola (Brown) – Sherlock’s fiercely independent sister – takes up the cause of young girls working in a match factory who are inexplicably falling ill. The entry point involves the disappearance of one of them, making the teenage detective the logical person to investigate, after the frustration of dealing with adults discouraged by his youth, one of whom asks, “Could he be free the your brother?”
Fortunately, said brother, the renowned Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) in a more youthful and physically fit phase of his life, is in his own case of confusion, which will eventually collide with what is chasing Enola. The cryptic clues, moreover, suggest the work of a master criminal, giving the detective an adversary worth his intellect.
Again directed by Harry Bradbeer and written by Jack Thorne, this “Enola Holmes” does not depart from the winning formula derived from the books, and Enola continues to regularly break the fourth wall to share games and jokes with the audience, interrupting a first . sequence to say, “Maybe I should explain.”
The not-so-secret ingredient remains Brown (who also produces these films), the “Stranger Things” star that Netflix has wisely realized is a huge asset. Indeed, when Enola attends a lavish ball that reunites her with the handsome and wealthy Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), it’s hard not to think that, as busy as she is, the streaming service should book her as often as the your university -the limited hours will allow it.
“Enola Holmes 2” contains a considerable amount of action, a little too much, frankly, given the more cerebral aspects of the character. The film is at its best when Enola uses her wits, not her fists, “seeing” events in a kind of animation that nicely illustrates her well-honed powers of perception.
Sherlock Holmes has gone through numerous iterations over the years, evidence of the character’s durability, while underscoring how difficult it is to bring much new to Baker Street.
In this sense, the match analogy is especially apt, as Brown’s exuberant take seems like the spark the franchise needed. Either way, despite the roots of the main character’s name, it’s unlikely that Netflix wants to leave Enola alone for long.
“Enola Holmes 2” premieres Nov. 4 on Netflix.