Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Enola Holmes is a charming movie that is carried entirely by its charismatic star, Millie Bobbie Brown. She is so delightful & engaging in the role that you can overlook the movie's flaws, of which there are many.
The plot is somewhat convoluted, & the central mystery seems more of an afterthought. The movie also isn't as clever as you might expect from a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery. Enola tends to solve her problems thru her mastery of martial arts, use of cyphers & disguises, more than observation & deduction.
Then there's Sherlock Holmes... The portrayal of Holmes is unlike other incarnations of the character. He is typically shown to be cold, dispassionate, & somewhat socially awkward, as he was in Robert Downey, Jr. & Benedict Cumberbatch's recent turns in the role. But Cavill's Holmes is warm, charming, & even a bit sentimental. There's a clear disconnect between what the audience is TOLD about Holmes (that he's dispassionate, & has so little emotional attachment to his family that he left his family & had no contact w/ his much younger sister for a decade) versus what we are shown about Holmes from Cavill on-screen, b/c he is shown to have genuine affection for Enola. I don't blame Cavill; I think he was poorly-directed in the role & the character was poorly-written.
Finally, casting Adeel Akhtar as Inspector Lestrade was an odd choice. I'm all for diversity & wish there were more opportunities for people of color in film & TV. That being said, when you're making a period piece, you can't cast a Pakistani/African actor to play a Scotland Yard inspector in 19th century London, & expect the audience to ignore the fact the actor isn't white. Akhtar is a fine actor & does as well as he can w/ the role, but the sense of emersion is broken every time he's on screen, just as it would be if an actor could not pull off a proper English accent.
The movie is beautifully made, many of the performances are solid, particularly Donnie Yen & Jason Scott Lee, but ultimately, the movie falls a little flat.
Some people might think it's a little unfair to compare this movie to the animated version, but since Disney is relying on the fans' affection for the animated movie to get them to buy this, I think it's fair to compare. And in this comparison, this remake falls short.
The main issue is with the character, Mulan. In the character in these 2 movies are not the same person. In the cartoon, Mulan was essentially an average girl in the beginning of the movie. As the story progresses, she trains, develops skills, & grows, and then she uses her new-found skills and ingenuity to defeat the Huns. In this remake, she is special, "the chosen one," at the beginning of the movie, but is made to hide her abilities, & then as the story progresses, chooses to reveal her true self by the end. These are 2 completely different character arcs, & I find the cartoon Mulan's more relatable & satisfying.
This is just one of the reasons this remake is inferior to the original, which still holds up. If it were free on Disney+, I'd say it was worth a watch for the things it does well, but it's not... If being sucked in by nostalgia & are hoping to see a movie as good as the original, then you're going disappointed for having laid down $30 to watch this.
Overall, it's not a bad adaptation of the 1st season of the anime (or 1st 7 volumes of the manga); it's certainly not as cringeworthy as many of the Hollywood adaptations of anime... Obviously, trying to condense 18 episodes (or 9 hrs.) into 100 minutes is going to be problematic, & a lot will be cut out. As a result, character development suffers, & the relationship btn Rukia & the supporting characters, is essentially non-existent (which is not as big a deal for this movie, but will be if a sequel is made; makes much less sense for Chad, Orihime, Ishida to risk their lives to try to rescue her in the next part of the story).
But for the most part, the movie does a good job in hitting the important notes... Fans of the anime & the manga will enjoy the show as the movie tries hard to make scenes from the anime/manga come to life. Most of the actors are great in these roles. Sota Fukushi & Hana Sugisaki are excellent as Ichigo & Rukia, respectively. Most of the supporting characters are great too, especially the Kurosaki clan.
To me, the biggest flaw in the movie was the portrayal of the 2 other Soul Reapers, Renji & Byakuya. Part of the problem is that their costumes are too on-the-nose. The thing is, some concepts that are portrayed in cartoons or comics do not translate well when converted to live action. The great thing that Marvel did w/ its portrayal of characters in their movies is that they knew where to pull directly from the comics & where not to. They knew the wings on Captain America's mask would look ridiculous if the made the costume look exactly like it does in the comics. Same w/ Hawkeye's double fin purple mask... The Soul Reapers' costumes are so elaborate & so much like the anime, they look more like cosplay than like a movie costume.
Miyavi's portrayal of Byakuya lacks the elegance & grace that the character has in the comics & anime. It's partly b/c of the costume, partly b/c his acting...
Taichi Saotome's portrayal of Renji is also not great. Saotome tries to emulate the anime version of Renji's facial expressions, his growls, etc., but again, things that work in cartoons don't necessarily work in real life, & Saotome looks ridiculous trying to scowl like the anime version does.
Fortunately, these 2 are on screen far less than the other characters... Overall, if you are a fan of the anime or manga, you'll probably enjoy this as well (which is more than I can say about the Hollywood versions of Dragon Ball or Ghost in the Shell...).