Steve G 🟨🟥’s review published on Letterboxd:
I am open to different ways of getting me to like Sherlock Holmes.
As I've stated before on here, to predictable critical disdain, I hate Sherlock Holmes, and I'm not going to go over the reasons again because it's a waste of my time and yours.
But if they're going to package him as he's presented here, as somewhat likeable and charming for a change, and largely sideline him for his smarter and more charismatic and more interesting younger sister, then I can live with that quite easily.
The prospect of doing something different in the Holmes 'universe' was really the only reason I stuck this on, and I guess also to see how Millie Bobby Brown fared in a major lead role that looked as though it might actually test how talented she actually is. As such, it was a success on both fronts.
Enola Holmes could reasonably be criticised for not really having a strong enough spine in terms of a story. It's strangely splintered on that front, focusing on about three things at once and never really committing to any of them with much urgency. Yet at the same time, it didn't just feel like, to me, a lazy exercise in establishing a character for a potential franchise as it has been criticised in some quarters.
But it all blended together, somehow, rather well. Probably that is largely due to Brown's magnetic lead performance, easily one of the best of the year, and her charms carry this a very long way at times. The fourth wall breaking seemed an obvious fit for a director, Harry Bradbeer, who had worked on a couple of episodes of Fleabag, but also allows Brown's personality and character to really flourish as a result.
The fragments of plot and story that are littered throughout are entertaining in themselves but this is, perhaps surprisingly, more of a character piece than a mystery. I'm fairly surprised to say that it worked extremely well with me, too.