‘Murder Mystery 2’ review: Adam Sandler perfected Netflix static
It’s no secret that Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s sequel is the number one streamer, but will anyone actually watch it?
If you want an action movie, there’s the excellent “John Wick: Chapter 4” in theaters. If you’re just looking for a Netflix streaming whodunit, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is just a click away. Either it’s late, or you’re hungover, or you’re doing laundry, or you just need some background noise. Enter: the perfect movie, “Murder Mystery 2.”
Four years after Agatha Christie meets the “Vacation” movies, the sequel is back, with plenty of “my wife” jokes and outlandish locations that a low-key American couple can ruin. But damn if this couple isn’t charming.
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston return as Nick and Audrey Spitz, who have now founded a private detective agency in Brooklyn. The only problem? Their cases are dwindling, and so is the humidity in their marriage. The Spitzes (or “shits” in Europe) are the type of couple you know fighting over Swedish meatballs while waiting in line at IKEA Red Hook. There’s just the right amount of common knowledge thrown in to keep it from being as emotionally scarring as “The Wrong Missy.”
“Murder Mystery 2” is a slightly less overt excuse for Sandler and pals to jet off to gorgeous locales (tropical private islands! Paris!) and is decidedly a more pristine film, tried and true to the three-act structure and genre mystery. formulas. It’s the little winks, like the voiceover of the couple “praying for a miracle that someone close to them kills” to get their next big break, that make “Murder Mystery 2” a decent comedy of errors.
The biggest mistake would be to watch this movie straight away. And yes, you read that right.
“Murder Mystery 2” knows you won’t be paying your full attention, and that’s fine with both the premise of the plot and the loose protagonists. The Spitz are all about the road, so why shouldn’t you be? Weird jokes like flamingos wearing diapers to keep their lawns from pooping fall flat. No setup, no payout; it’s just a random misunderstanding that’s instantly forgotten if it’s heard at all. And Sandler’s delivery is like he knows it all: he’s on vacation and spouting random fun facts.
The mystery, despite the lack of emotional development, is that recurring character Maharajah (Adeel Akhtar) is kidnapped on his wedding day. All signs point to his bride-to-be (Mélanie Laurent) being behind the ransom due to an Iron Hat prenuptial agreement. But Maharajah’s sister (Kuhoo Verma) and jealous ex (Zurin Villanueva) have their own motives, along with a handful of other dismissible suspects. The Spitzes are ready to jump on the case until MI6’s hostage negotiator (Mark Strong) is called in.
“I’m getting married, so it’s all about negotiation,” Sandler says, gesturing to Aniston, who basically just smiles back and says, “Oh honey!” every line. Get it? Marriage is like a hostage situation! Hardy hard war. It’s the kind of joke your loud, sitcom-loving co-worker, who inexplicably wears a golf country club T-shirt, loves to make to the office.
And that’s who this movie is for: the uncle in khaki pants, the dad wearing white Adidas sneakers in a decidedly uncool way, the drunk twenty-something bro who wants to go on a first date, and the couple mirroring the Spitz. in real life. This Netflix streaming numbers gold.
“You’re so big,” Aniston later tells Sandler, who whispers that she hasn’t heard that since their honeymoon. Sex addict, but not sexy. It’s the kind of talk that makes kids cover their ears at the dinner table and beg their parents to stop. And Aniston and Sandler could very well be those typical parents.
Aniston, a sex icon in her own right, is believably upset as the kids say she comes across as a no-nonsense, undemanding mother figure who only wants the best for her husband and their careers together. It’s honestly amazing how Sandler and Aniston perfectly embody the definition of “normalcy,” and that’s why “Murder Mystery 2” will thrive in Netflix’s algorithm. This is for everyone. And no one. “Murder Mystery 2” is the perfect background noise that Netflix has built an empire on. Loop streaming can begin.
Director Jeremy Garelick helms the film from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt, who co-wrote “Scream VI” and “Zodiac.” Yes, “Zodiac”, one of the best movies of the 21st century. Vanderbilt also wrote the first “Murder Mystery” before joining the “Scream” franchise with the fifth installment in 2022. There are hints of something better in “Murder Mystery 2,” such as an unexpected “Sleepless in Seattle”-inspired cameo from the hilarious Gillian Bell.
And that’s what one might find frustrating about “Murder Mystery 2”: it has all the pieces. Great screenwriter, great director, two great stars. But it’s not a great movie… it just settles between laundry and taxes. “Murder Mystery 2” defines what Netflix and chill are all about, and as Sandler and Aniston cheer over a Budweiser and (probably) boxed wine in a private helicopter right before the cliffhanger ends, it’s clear that creative void. well, Netflix keeps coming back. It’s that easy.
“Murder Mystery 2” is now streaming on Netflix.
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