Murder Mystery 2 (2023) Review!!

Synopsis – Full-time detectives Nick and Audrey are struggling to get their private eye agency off the ground. They find themselves at the center of international abduction when their friend Maharaja, is kidnapped at his own lavish wedding.

My Take – Release amidst some of Adam Sandler‘s terrible set of comedies on Netflix, Murder Mystery (2019) turned out to be quite a fun affair, that had a nice easy breezy story to work with, but most importantly reaffirmed the fact Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are a fun pair to watch together, and its sequel is no different.

Basically, a bigger budget version of the first, the Jeremy Garelick (The Binge) directed and James Vanderbilt (Scream VI) written sequel is just as fun, silly with lots of twists and turns and quite a few laughs. Shorter than its predecessor by ten minutes, the film is brisk, fast-paced and doesn’t overstay its welcome. This is a film oozing with typical Adam Sandler comedy DNA while Jennifer Aniston and the rest of the ensemble cast are at their silly best.

Yes, by reusing too many beats and character relationships from the first film it does lower the stakes, despite being saved by the grandiose on-location set pieces to fully immerse the viewers in the film’s story, even if, at times, it’s unconvincing. However, it is worth a watch because you are sure to have a light and breezy time, especially considering how in this day and age, the Sandler and Anniston classic brand of comedy is necessary.

Four years after solving the murder mystery of the rich old man who was killed on a luxury yacht, the story once again follows Nick Spitz (Adam Sandler) and Audrey Spitz (Jennifer Aniston), the chaotic husband-and-wife team, who are now attempting to run a not-so-successful private eye business while looking for work and facing the reality that they might not be cut out to be detectives.

Their business problems also seem to be putting a strain on their marriage, so when their wealthy friend Maharaja Vikram (Adeel Akhtar) offers an all-expenses-paid trip to his private island for his wedding to Claudette (Mélanie Laurent), they immediately agree.

However, their excitement is short-lived as while attendees are enjoying the festivities of the evening, Vikram’s new bodyguard ends up getting murdered and the Maharajah himself kidnapped.

With the list of suspects right in front of them – Board member and former soccer star Francisco (Enrique Arce), who is bleeding money with countless paternity suits. Vikram’s fiancée Claudette, who some suspect of being a gold-digger, Vikram’s ex-fiancée and Claudette’s maid of honor, Countess Sekou (Jodie Turner-Smith) who could be looking at way to exact revenge on both of them, Colonel Ulenga (John Kani), Vikram’s former bodyguard who lost an arm for him and Saira (Kuhoo Verma), Vikram’s much ignored sister. Nick and Audrey start their investigation to figure out who is the criminal mastermind.

As the investigation begins director Jeremy Garelick and writer James Vanderbilt keep you guessing and present numerous false trails to follow. In similar vein to its predecessor, the film delivers a light-hearted adventure with surprisingly curious plot developments.

One of the smartest decisions that the film makes comes early on is the fact that it wastes no time jumping into the film’s overall narrative. We don’t spend the entire first act setting up dynamics and characters but jump straight into a story that, on its own, is enjoyable enough to get us where we need to be in the story. The Spitzes are perfectly relatable vessels to lead the narrative as they act as regular people who find themselves embroiled in extravagant schemes.

Throughout most of the run time, the two keep the viewer entertained with their antics. While they obviously solve the high-profile criminal case, the sequel has so much more action and tons of drama. The script is strong and crisp, and even though one might call it an ‘enjoyably silly’ film, it delivers well on the mystery part.

The jokes too come at a steady clip and have a surprisingly solid hit rate. Many of the jokes from the first film come back for repeated use, including Nick being a terrible shot, Audrey somehow solving situations by dumb luck, and Colonel Ulenga’s missing arm. The third act especially leans into the absurd tropes and intricacies of the genre, few of which land well.

There are a couple of chase scenes that are well done and funnier than I expected, as well as a large-scale scene set on the Eiffel Tower that is impressive for a film like this. Sure, the reveal of the perpetrators of this film’s central crime,

will likely be figured out by most audiences within the first half of the film. But what helped make the original film work was the chemistry between Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, who reunited after starring in 2011’s Just Go with It, and played a convincing couple who were in over their heads. Here, too they seem to be clearly having a blast. The two know what works and what doesn’t, and have great chemistry to back up their comedy. They are just the right amount of goofy and lovable as the film’s leads.

In supporting roles, Mark Strong, Mélanie Laurent, Jodie Turner-Smith, John Kani, Kuhoo Verma, Dany Boon, Adeel Akhtar, Enrique Arce, Zurin Villanueva, Tony Goldwyn, Annie Mumulo and Jillian Bell make for a perfect ensemble, each bringing something uniquely funny and bizarre to the table. On the whole, ‘Murder Mystery 2’ is a lighthearted mystery comedy anchored by the charm of Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston.

Directed –

Starring – Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Strong

Rated – PG13

Run Time – 90 minutes

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