Enola Holmes 2 is a mediocre sequel

The predictability of the events leaves the film underwhelming and transparent

Ananya Chaudhary

Enola enthusiastically waits for her first client, in her new detective agency | Photo by Netflix

The Netflix original, “Enola Holmes 2,” touches upon topics such as misogyny, poverty and corruption but fails to create a distinguishable plotline. Released Nov. 4, the story follows the protagonist Enola Holmes — played by Millie Bobby Brown —as she attempts to step out of her elder brother’s — Sherlock Holmes — shadow. The film abruptly begins with a review of what Enola had been up to, showing how she had started a detective agency but was unable to acquire any cases due to the misogynistic mentality of possible clients. Finally, a young girl approaches Enola and asks for assistance in finding her sister, Sarah, who has gone missing.

Graphic by Ananya Chaudhary

The plotline of “Enola Holmes 2” is based on The Match Girls Strike,” which occurred in the UK on July 2, 1888, when approximately 1,400 women walked out of Bryan and May’s match factory. This strike was a retaliation against the company owners who had done nothing about the poisonous phosphorus that affected the health of many factory workers. The film does an adequate job portraying the events of this occasion by involving the actual character of Sarah Chapman and her work to lead the strike.

The film’s storyline revolves around a factory owned by corrupt and influential businessmen. The setting for the story sets up the initial theme of how corruption and abuse of power negatively impact women in poverty. Sarah, the girl who had gone missing, demonstrates how corrupt individuals are powerless without those working for them. “It’s time for us to use the only thing we have. Ourselves,” Sarah said. “It’s time for us to refuse to work. It’s time to tell ‘em no.” While leading the strike and fighting for the health and well-being of the factory workers, Sarah was able to bring justice to all the women who had been harmed by exposing the corrupt businessmen who had put the workers in such an environment in the first place.

The scenes between Tewkesbury — the male protagonist — and Enola only speed up in the movie’s last hour. Throughout the film’s beginning, Tewkesbury only makes brief appearances, which is surprising considering he is the primary male lead. Despite his brief presence, the scenes between him and Enola show their relationship’s advancement and portray their commitment to one another. Observing how their general relationship has developed was entertaining since the previous film left audiences wondering whether the two would end up together.

Tewkesbury teaches Enola how to dance | Photo by Netflix

The overarching storyline of “Enola Holmes 2” is similar to that of the original film. It utilizes the same plot points of Enola becoming interested in a case, officials tracking her down to suppress her curiosity, and ultimately triggering a significant historical event. The scene in which Enola is taken away to jail while she sits in a carriage mirrors the scene in the original film, where her eldest brother Mycroft was taking her to a girls boarding school. Despite this being an interesting premise in the first film, recreating it verbatim made it dull and repetitive. Additionally, plot twists meant to entice the audience were obvious as they had no suspense or build-up. A major plot twist of the film was finding Sarah’s whereabouts, which had been obvious considering they had placed so much emphasis on a specific character. This transparency in the plotline causes “Enola Holmes 2” to be boring.

The depiction of the distinct historical event of The Match Strike in “Enola Holmes 2,” demonstrates the maltreatment working women in poverty endure as a result of corruption. Portraying this significant event in female history indicates the growth in female media coverage and shows the ongoing struggle working women face. However, the overall plotline of the film lacks originality, preventing it from rising above mediocrity.