The detective is a young WOMAN. The boy likes FLOWERS. Sherlock Holmes is SEXY. So is his BROTHER. In Netflix’s newest add, Stranger Things’ famous flat-earther Millie Bobby Brown tugs the audience through a high-energy mystery, set in pre-feminist Victorian England. Enola is a strong-willed young girl who goes on the search for her mother when she goes missing on Enola’s sixteenth birthday. She’s pursued by her very famous older brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill stuffed into a suit), and her less famous, misogynistic brother, Mycroft (Sam Claflin with a dirty mo’). Along the way she saves a young Timothée Chalamet-esque Lord and helps to get women the vote. Fun for the family, except for Dad who might roll his eyes.
There’s some bad bits. The fourth wall breaks are pretty tired and a lot of the dialogue bops you square in the nose, with the implication it’s more ground-breaking than it actually is. There’s enough subversion of traditional roles to make the film fun, but nothing special about the actual directing or filmmaking. However, I found myself smiling along with Brown’s performance, the heavy-handed themes and the action. It sets up its bits and then pays off on them (which seems to be a big ask from Netflix films). I think it’s a movie I would have absolutely loved as a young teen, mainly because there’s a very capable girl at the centre of it (which the film tells you again and again). If there is a sequel, which some of the buzz seems to suggest, I’d like to see Susie Wokoma talk over Henry Cavill some more.
6/10: “It’s ALONE backwards.”