Murder Mystery 2
Nick and Audrey Spitz are back again in the latest edition to Adam Sandler’s continuing lucrative partnership with Netflix, which thus far has produced some bumpy and fairly forgettable comedy films. Sandler is not oblivious to this. When the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems was criminally snubbed for an Oscar, Sandler, who played the leading role, even vowed to create a movie that he called “so bad on purpose” just to make the Academy pay.
Thankfully, we are still waiting for that day to come. In the meantime, the first instalment of the now Murder Mystery franchise was released, starring Sandler and an excellently cast Jennifer Aniston as a cop and hairdresser couple struggling to find the spark in their marriage, who are then thrust into a world of deceit and crime where nearly everybody dies. Now, in Murder Mystery 2, it’s personal: the private detectives have launched their own agency, and Nick and Audrey once again find themselves at the centre of an international kidnapping investigation when their friend the Maharajah (Adeel Akhtar) is abducted at his own wedding.
Despite initial prejudice, almost entirely because it was an Adam Sandler-associated release, Murder Mystery caused a few surprises with countless laughs and witty jokes supporting a narrative delivered by a star-studded cast. It even went on to secure huge viewing figures on Netflix, so a sequel seemed inevitable. You can see that the same thing has been attempted in this second movie, but when an already exhausted storyline has been used previously, the sequel must present something new and avoid falling into the trap of becoming an uninspiring watch.
Murder Mystery 2 is less of a romantic murder mystery comedy, and more of just a comedy, with jokes becoming more slapstick and the complexity of the plot beginning to tear at the seams. Sandler and Aniston continue to be a superb pairing, something they first did in the 2011 movie Just Go With It, and do their best to deliver a fully charged adventure where no holds are barred, but compared to its predecessor, Murder Mystery 2 fails to hit the averagely acceptable heights set.
The wider cast of characters, including Mark Strong, Melanie Laurent and Jodie Turner-Smith, is less Agatha Christie and more colourful caricatures with tiring catchphrases, traits and personalities. There was also an element of plausibility to the scenarios in which Nick and Audrey found themselves in in the first film. A very large pinch of salt must be taken this time. It is undeniably entertaining, but where the first instalment was a hoot, it only just about manages to keep its head above the water and stays safely below the parapet.
The wait for Sandler’s worst film of all time goes on. If you have nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon, then by all means chuck Murder Mystery 2 on, but seeing as the weather is getting better, you might have better things to be doing.
Murder Mystery 2 is released on Netflix on 31st March 2023.
Watch the trailer for Murder Mystery 2 here: