Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Strong, Melanie Laurent, Jodie Turner-Smith, and John Kani
Directed by: Jeremy Garelick
Tagline: Deux or die.
early four years after we first met them in 2019’s Murder Mystery, we reunite with the Spitzes as they find themselves bumbling through another globetrotting whodunnit in a sequel that, like its predecessor, isn’t trying to win awards; it’s just attempting to make you chuckle with campy silliness, and it often succeeds.
Since the events of the first film, cop Nick (Adam Sandler) and hairdresser Audrey (Jennifer Aniston) have embraced their passion for solving mysteries by leaving their jobs and becoming private detectives. But their new vocation isn’t going quite as well as they would have hoped.
Struggling with their flailing agency and the impact it’s having on their marriage, the couple decide to accept an invite to a lavish wedding on an exotic tropical island. Their friend Vikram (Adeel Akhtar) is getting married, and the Spitzes hope to take the opportunity to reconnect and unwind.
But unwinding, it turns out, is not on the cards. Before the bride (Melanie Laurent) and groom can exchange I do’s, the festivities are interrupted by a murder and a kidnapping. It’s up to Nick and Audrey, then, to sift through the suspects and uncover what’s actually going on.
It’s all just ridiculous, stupid fun. There’s enough slapstick wit and competent action alongside the solid dynamic between the leads to keep the proceedings entertaining. The pace is brisk, the running time is short – it’s around 80 minutes without credits – and the hijinks are, more often than not, amusing.
Sandler and Aniston’s camaraderie is definitely an asset here, and the supporting cast – from Mark Strong as a no-nonsense hostage negotiator to Jodie Turner-Smith as a spurned countess – makes things interesting and keeps you guessing who the culprit really is.
It’s not the best whodunnit you’ll ever see, but in the sea of mediocrity that the output of Netflix has become, Murder Mystery 2 at least delivers breezy entertainment and a handful of silly laughs. It’s pretty much designed for that lazy evening when you want to enjoy something light and amusing with family and friends. Don’t go in expecting an Oscar contender and you’ll have a fun time.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection