Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston Fail to Offend and Occasionally Amuse in Murder Mystery 2: Review
The Pitch: In the first Murder Mystery, Netflix subscribers met Nick (Adam Sandler) and Audrey (Jennifer Aniston), a married couple that discovered an innate talent for solving mysteries together, after finding themselves in the middle of an Agatha Christie-esque adventure on board a European yacht. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t super-surprising that Nick had an interest in mystery-solving, given that he was a New York City cop, but hey, Audrey was a hairdresser, this is a big deal for her.)
In Murder Mystery 2, we find out that the Spitzes have left their previous careers to become full-time private detectives, with varying degrees of success. The grind is getting to them, though, and so when their old friend Vikram (Adeel Akhtar) reaches out to invite them to his lavish wedding on a private tropical island, they see it as the opportunity to relax and also reconnect in their own marriage.
Of course, a murder and kidnapping later, Nick and Audrey have a new case to solve, one which will bring them from the tropics back to Europe (France, this time), lead to a certain amount of mayhem — and, yes, with some more dead bodies along the way.
It’s Definitely Better Than I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Adam Sandler’s Netflix era is interesting to parse on a number of levels these days, as the longtime comedy star has released no shortage of movies via said deal that fail to reach the raw hilarity of his earliest works. (Over three decades of film, and my personal favorite Sandler film remains Happy Gilmore, though I fully acknowledge the power of Uncut Gems.) Yet almost in gleeful defiance of whatever Rotten Tomatoes might say, he continues to star in and executive produce comedies that might once have made it to the big screen, but now instead live on streaming.
Some of his Netflix films have actually received stronger reviews than projects like Just Go With It and Blended, which leads to an existential question: If one was to watch this sequel in theaters, would it feel up to par with Sandler’s more classic works? That question is irrelevant given that this movie exists only because of Netflix’s massive deal with Sandler to keep making these films, but Murder Mystery 2 certainly isn’t the biggest embarrassment of his career.
After watching Murder Mystery 2, the words that come to mind are similar to how you’d describe your friend’s new boyfriend, after talking with them for five minutes at a party — “Oh yeah, he was pretty funny,” or “seemed nice enough, I enjoyed meeting him.” Granted, the viewer gets 90 minutes, not five, to spend with Nick and Audrey, but the takeaway is similar: Unobjectionable, at times amusing, and easy to forget until the next time you see your friend Murder Mystery 3.