Henry Cavill Is a Perfect Sherlock Holmes in ‘Enola Holmes 2’
Enola Holmes 2 was a thrilling sequel to the 2020 film that brought Millie Bobby Brown into the fold as Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’ little sister. With it came Henry Cavill as the eccentric detective Sherlock, and while the first movie didn’t give us much of either of the Holmes brothers (Mycroft being played by Sam Claflin), the sequel takes us on a case that leads both Sherlock and Enola to work together.
That’s great because it means we get to see more of Cavill as Sherlock, and let me tell you, he’s incredible. There are levels to Sherlock Holmes that are hinted at in most popular tellings of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character. He can be brash, he’s observant, and he doesn’t have many friends. Those are, for the most part, the staples, and Enola Holmes brings all those qualities to the character as well as some added moments.
For the most part, the Enola Holmes franchise has been very good about making it clear that this is Enola’s story, and getting just a glimpse of Sherlock and his “Sherlockisms” is enough for me, but there are three moments in this movie that really stick out to me and cement Cavill’s performance as Sherlock in the top of my ranking of the brilliant detective adaptations.
Sherlock Holmes struggles with drug addiction in the original stories, and while we’ve had nods to it in both the BBC Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies, there hasn’t been a deeper exploration of Sherlock’s connection to substances. In the stories, he has a problem with drugs (primarily cocaine) but is a wine connoisseur, and given the complexities of both sides of that coin for Sherlock, most stories omit it.
Seeing a drunk Sherlock stumble into the streets of London and see his sister? It’s surprising, to say the least, given how many of these stories either allude to Sherlock’s use of substances or use it negatively at some point in the film or television show. This brief little nod to that story (which I don’t think they’ll get into much past this, given that Enola Holmes and her sequels are geared towards a younger audience) was a surprising addition to his character that I enjoyed.
For the most part, Sherlock works alone in the Enola Holmes world, meaning his trusted friends are not there to help him that much because this is, as I said before, Enola’s story. But as the film progresses and the pieces of both Sherlock and Enola’s case are coming together, we see Sherlock standing in front of his board with strings connecting evidence, and he just simply tilts his head to one side and the pieces start to flow together.
This is just one of the “Sherlockisms” we get to see in the movie, as there’s also a nod to Sherlock’s violin skills when Enola brings to him what she thinks is sheet music, only to learn that it is not what it seems to be later in the film. I didn’t expect to yell when I seeing Cavill’s Sherlock with a violin, and yet here we are because it is so very Sherlock of him to have the violin, and it just feels right.
Holmes and Watson
You know those moments in movies like Avengers: Endgame when the audience cheered? You know the feeling of seeing Cap being worthy of Mjölnir and how we all lost it? That moment also happened for me in Enola Holmes 2, during a scene when John Watson comes to the door.
Throughout the movie, there are hints to how lonely Sherlock is. Enola is his “ward,” and the two talk about maybe living together, but she keeps going on to something else of importance to her, but still, at the end, she talks to her brother about his sadness. So when someone comes to the door looking to see the apartment and Sherlock is perplexed, we know that it is something Enola has done.
And what she did was give us Holmes and Watson. We get a brief look at Himesh Patel as Dr. John Watson, and it is enough to have me begging for at least another Enola Holmes movie, if not an entire series about the adventures of Cavill’s Sherlock and Patel’s Watson out and about.
Overall, I genuinely think that Enola Holmes has been a wonderful addition to the world of Sherlock, and I want to see more of Brown’s adventures as the little sister to Sherlock and Mycroft. And if it means more of perfect Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes, then all the better for me.
(featured image: Netflix)
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