Mille Bobby Brown has battled plenty of otherworldly creatures on Netflix’s smash Stranger Things or Godzilla, King of the Monsters. In Enola Holmes, she fights with her wits inherited from her revolutionary minded mum and world famous brother. I suspect she’ll solve plenty more mysteries for the streaming pleasure of its young and female target audience.
Based on a series of novels from Nancy Springer, Brown’s title character is the youngest in her family. Dad has passed and her two older brothers are long gone. Mom Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) spends her days teaching Enola skills including martial arts and decoding. They come in handy when Eudoria vanishes on her daughter’s 16th birthday. The disappearance is not sweetened when it seems the matriarch has left on purpose.
This puts Enola back in contact with her siblings. Mycroft (Sam Claflin) is a stuffy politico now serving as her ward. He wants to send her to finishing school to sand down the rough edges. The middle child is the superstar of the clan (no Jan Brady issues here). That would be Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) who’s distant from the brood due to all his investigative commitments.
Enola isn’t about to spend her days learning how to be a “proper” lady so she hits the road in search of Eudoria. Leaving some breadcrumbs as to her whereabouts, the trail leads to London where she may be part of a rogue women’s suffrage group. It’s the late 19th century and this is the center of political upheaval.
It turns out Enola has more capers to consider. She’s introduced to Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge) on the journey. The teenage British royal is on the run as someone is trying to kill him. He’s introduced to Enola hiding in an overhead bag on a train as he nearly falls on her. They soon fall for each other.
The dual cases of the Missing Mother and Tewkesbury becoming a Missing Person fill an overstuffed two hours. Brown carries the material even though neither mystery is particularly absorbing. She also talks to and mugs for the camera… a lot. As in probably too much. Sherlock is relegated to the sideline in this tale of his little sister harnessing her girl power. This might be an elementary introduction to her, but it’s got appeal.
**1/2 (out of four)