Murder Mystery 2 REVIEW – Not Even Mediocre

Unlike the first, this sequel is not rewatch material.

Murder Mystery 2
Murder Mystery 2

Sandler-Aniston movies bring me much comfort, and I’m not afraid to say it. They’re just fuss-free, easy options for when I’ve had a bad day and just need a laugh. The critics didn’t enjoy Just Go With It or even the first Murder Mystery, but I liked both enough to rewatch them over the years, especially Just Go with It. So it’s utterly disappointing to know that I won’t be adding Murder Mystery 2 to the mix. The movie is so keen to make Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler into action stars and completely forgets why we tune in to watch these types of movies in the first place.

The last time we saw Nick (Sandler) and Audrey Spitz (Aniston), they had just solved the mystery behind a whole bunch of murders while on their second honeymoon in Italy. After that event, they decided to set up their own detective agency, but things are going very badly. They barely get work and screw up with the assignments they actually do get. With their company on the brink of ruin, a phone call from their friend the Maharajah (Adeel Akhtar) inviting them to his wedding is exactly the kind of distraction they need.

As the wedding festivities begin, things immediately take a turn for the worse. They discover that Viknesh, the Maharajah, has been kidnapped, and the kidnappers are asking for a sizeable ransom. Nick and Audrey have a whole host of suspects, but first they need to get Vik back unharmed.

These murder mystery movies employ the standard narrative of a whodunit, where the detectives find themselves at a centre of a murder and a convenient group of suspects, leading the viewers down the trail of red herrings and suspense.

At least for the first movie, I was kind of interested to figure out who had committed the murder. In this sequel, the characters in the suspect pool are so uninteresting and underutilised. They just exist so that Nick and Audrey have people to suspect. And once you throw someone like Mark Strong into the mix, things just get even more predictable. It simply rehashes the same beats of the previous movie, and doesn’t bring anything new to the table. I know it’s intended to be fuss-free, but it shouldn’t feel lazy and lacking effort.

Even the comedy is a letdown. They reuse similar gags, but they don’t work as effectively as in the first movie. For example, in Murder Mystery, Sandler’s Nick keeps asking if the food’s been prepared yet. It’s funny because when he finally gets a chance to eat, a murder happens, which deters him from eating once more. So when he grabs the giant bowl of shrimp to take back to his room after, it’s pretty funny. In this movie, he can’t stop eating, um, cheese. I’m not sure what’s funny about him devouring an entire block of cheese, or Audrey throwing food into a potted plant because she gets judged for piling her plate with so much food.

There are some moments towards the end of the movie that brought some laughs, and I wish there was more of this energy in the earlier parts of the film. I watch these murder mystery movies because I want to see the Nick and Audrey Spitz solve murders in the most inapt way possible, not some loose version of Mr and Mrs Smith. Their relationship and dynamic was better fleshed out in the first movie, with challenges and conflict they have to overcome. They do set up some conflict in the beginning, with their struggling business and the impact on their marriage, but this is forgotten later on as van escapades and jumping out of burning buildings become the priority.

Aniston and Sandler are better than this material, and it’s such a shame that this sequel couldn’t even muster up mediocre.

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Murder Mystery 2
We don't expect much from these sorts of movies, but this doesn't mean we'll be content with something as lazy and uninspired as Murder Mystery 2 is.