jason__kelly41’s review published on Letterboxd:
Enola Holmes starts out strong with its stylistic approach but begins to fall apart once it starts stripping away it's feminist core.
Enola Holmes is a tale of two halfs. The first half is genuinely great and fun and I was thinking of a 3.5-4/5. You get a great backstory on Enola and her mom, the 4th wall breaking is good and often enough without feeling like a nuisance to the progression of the story and when Enola's mom goes missing it begins with an energetic search for her. But this soon all gets thrown to scraps. The first hour builds the feminist approach of Enola being independent and I loved it but then the movie takes a weird change in direction to focusing not on finding her mom but on finding a boy who's on the run who she met on a train. Like, why? Why spend so much time on the mother and how she made Enola and why spend so much time on building up a feminist character to be independent just to make them fall in love with the first boy they meet? It just completely took me out for the 2nd half of the film.
The 2nd half of the film was watchable to some extent but it losses a lot of it's stylistic approach that the fun mystery half of this film had going. The boy who's name is way too long to even spell out or pronounce is not that interesting of a character and when you spend an hour dedicated to finding Enola's mom you shouldn't divert for something so random.
The performances here are all solid especially from Millie Bobby Brown in the lead role who takes the character and makes her charismatic and quirky. She narrates a decent part of this movie and 4th wall breaks but it never bothers me because her character is so likable it just blends into the rest of the movie well. Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes is of course great and I love the performance given by Cavill even if it's with a limited amount of screen time. I wouldn't mind if for a potential Enola Holmes sequel we could have Enola and Sherlock team up for a mystery. Cavill's Sherlock seems to have a bit more emotion to his character and a true caring for his sister and that emotion isn't as evident in other adaptations.
A lot of the scenery at sets actually breakthrough my problem of every Netflix film looking exactly alike. It relies a lot on green screen making things look slighly fake which I'm not a huge fan of but the shots of the palace and a lot of the outdoors of the Holmes residence is truly beautiful and of course London is shown to be a bit more brim and grey which sets up the vibe for it. If I could change this movie I would have had it been Enola spending the whole time searching for her mother instead of trying to find the boy and have the subplot of this film be Sherlock trying to both follow Enola and find their mother and that probably would have earned a high rating from me because you get more screen time for Cavill and a better feminist approach for Millie Bobby Brown to shine in. Overall not a bad watch with a great first hour even if the second hour at times gets downright boring and loses some of it's sparks.
EDIT: Also this will be talked about on the podcast I co-host on Saturday. Here's the link to last weeks episode if interested.