by Kyle Arango
The young adult genre came and went as fast as Rue lasted in The Hunger Games. It had a fever that every studio jumped on top of but as soon as that generation ended puberty, so did the genre, which is why franchises like Divergent and Maze Runner stumbled before they could finish because there was no interest anymore. So now, Netflix had the idea of bringing Sherlock Holmes to a younger generation with his younger sister, Enola. Sounds like an awful idea, but it actually works. Enola Holmes is a wonderful delight of a film that works not just for kids, but adults as well.
Enola Holmes follows Enola who is the younger sister of the famous Sherlock Holmes, greatest detective in the world. She lives alone with her mother and never really got to know the rest of her family. One day when her brothers come home, her mother has mysteriously vanished without a trace. In the midst of that, her oldest brother Mycroft is trying to throw her into a boarding school to become a “proper young woman” and disrupt her attempt to find her mother. This film is a Nancy Drew novel come to life with all the mystery and wonder you would hope to find in those novels. It has everything you want from a young adult adaptation and a mystery, the great characters, the intrigue, and fun story that carries you along the way. I was not excited for this film but it got me and you know what? I’m very happy about that.
It is such a smart idea to try and bring Sherlock Holmes to a new generation. We all know the name and his story, but most younger people will roll their eyes at watching one of his movies. Now you tell them that he had a younger sister played by Stranger Things Star Millie Bobbie Brown, now you’ve got them hooked. On the opposite side, Sherlock Holmes fans will see anything with him in it, regardless of the quality. The point of this is, Enola Holmes has the perfect combination of everything both sides of the audience want. The sets are beautiful, the humor and charm are there, and the mystery of it all is fun to watch unfold. I was more interested in Enola than Sherlock and to pull that off is no small feat. We see her grow through all this adversity and live up to her brother’s name while carving her own path, a message very much needed.
Of course, all of this doesn’t work if you don’t care about Enola, and that responsibility is put solely on Millie Bobbie Brown who is just dynamite in this film. Thank God she finally got to use her natural accent in something because she was able to concentrate on other aspects of her acting and it shows. She just has the natural likability to her where it’s infectious and makes you want to join in for the ride no matter what she does. These young adult protagonists can get very annoying after awhile but with Enola, I couldn’t get enough. Her journey and self discovery are super relatable to everyone and Millie just puts a smile on your face. On the other side, Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes is terrific as well. He’s not in much, but is nice to see Cavill play a character who isn’t just super tough or strong. Both of them make me excited for the future of this series.
At the end of it all, Enola Holmes is a movie I could watch again right now. It has everything you want as a mystery fan or a Sherlock fan. It’s energy is so high that you cannot wait to see where this goes, and that is thanks to the wonderful story and terrific characters. It is that light that the young adult film genre needed and the spark the Sherlock Holmes series needed to connect to younger fans. I was not looking forward to this, and now I cannot wait for the sequel.