Let’s face it, much has happened since the release of Murder Mystery back in 2019; the original debuted on streamer Netflix a good eight weeks before Ryan Johnson’s Knives Out debuted in Toronto, revitalising the whodunit vibe and creating a franchise of its own that Netflix quickly snapped up at some cost. That left the original model, a simple, lightweight comedy-action vehicle for established stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, somewhat redundant; from the perfunctory title onwards, Murder Mystery 2 is less about disrupting than adhering to cinematic conventions that reach back to The Thin Man in the 1930’s.
The bald 90 minute run time suggests contractual obligations, and yet the Murder Mystery franchise is undeniably popular; the prospect of this sequel brought the original back to number 2 in Netflix’s internal charts. Nick Spitz and his hairdresser wife Audrey have expanded on their crime-fighting success in the first film to set up their own detective agency, but their first case goes badly. The couple head off to Europe for the wedding of Vikram ‘The Maharajah’ Govindan (Adeel Akhtar), but his kidnapping disrupts their plans as they try to figure out who is on the ‘next to die’ list. A madcap van chase through Paris is the big action highlight on the way to a showdown with the unmasked killer on top of the Eiffel Tower, or rather the usual Netflix green-screen studio; Melanie Laurent, Mark Strong and others are amongst the suspects.
It feels pointless to point out the many and varied idiocies of the narrative featured in Jeremey Garelick’s film; the Murder Mystery franchise is not meant to be taken seriously, and even when Sandler is shot several times, cartoonish bandages serve instead of actual medical treatment. There’s a few reasonably modern jokes about heating bills and Billie Eilish, and a running gag about Sandler’s obsession with ‘unicorn cheese’; Sandler and Aniston work well together, and even if Murder Mystery 2 feels like a lazy option for both audiences and cast, it works the familiar action/comedy formula to reasonably satisfying effect.
‘Don’t you want it to be the killer, so they can kill us? …because I’m sick of this sh*t…’ Nick complains when an unseen assailant approaches, and it’s fair to say that the entire film gets the business of entertainment over with in undue haste. Murder Mystery 2, like the first film, is passable mass entertainment, but hangs on the coat-tails of cinema rather than having a USP of its own. The frequency of expected Knives Out product will probably dictate whether this franchise continues; it’s still a cut above Netflix’s traditionally anonymous fare.
So much has happened that I’ve not been able to summon the lethargy to watch the first one never mind a sequel.
You must have more happening in your life than me.
At the moment I’m swamped.
I detest Sandler. Anniston I can take or leave. And since this is a netflix exclusive, I guess that takes care of it for me. I’m not worried. I’m sure Knives Out 3-15 will give me all the silly mystery I so desperately need but don’t know it.
Sandier and Anniston are great. Fact!
Someone’s been drinking that Hollywood koolaide I see.
You might want to seek medical attention. If it was greenish in color, or blue, it might have been anti-freeze and not koolaide…
No, no, no!
I hate to be mean and blunt, but I detest both of those actors!
Unless and until Chat GPT starts picking my movies for me, I will never ever ever be watching this.
What? Who would you prefer to see as a crime fighting wise-cracking couple of amateur dectives?
Literally anyone else…….
Both been great in many films. Retract your slur!
I will not!!!!!! Do your worst!!
Recant! Or by your silence, we shall infer an endorsement!
Doubling up with Melanie here, they’d need to pay me to sit through this crope.
Sigh. Two great comic actors! You’re missing out! Cheese jokes!
I don’t mind.
Just want to be clear that I am not being silent!!!!!!!!!!!
Your silence condemns you from your own silent mouth!
Didn’t see the first movie, probably will never even have the opportunity to see this.
Eilish, not Ellish. ChatGPT wouldn’t have muffed that.
Thanks. How are you going to pay for your comments at $10 each?
A canine currency?
It’s not called “bit” coin for nothing you know…
K-9 Crypto. Better than biscuits. More convertible than kibbles.
Is it made from genuine dog or is that soya fake stuff?
No dogs were harmed in the minting of doggy coin.
What about crypto for cats?
Good song, but lacking crypto.
There with a gang of villains in a shed up at ‘eathrow.
It’s funny how the missus always looks the bleedin same
I fancy this, I fancy that, I wanta be so flash.
By the time I’m sober I’ve forgotten what I had
You’re a likely lad. Do you swear like how’s your father?
The squaw is Lynne McCorkhill, she is tied against the tree…
Did she let loose all the horses when the corporal was asleep?
She likes to go to discos but she’s never in her own.
I was invited in for coffee and I gave the dog a bone.
The Sweeney doing ninety cos the got the word to go.
They’re in and out of Wandsworth with the numbers on their names.
She unscrews the top of a new whiskey bottle
Stumbles around in her candlelit hovel.
They’re playing my local bandstand this summer.
They’re still touring? I’m amazed. But I guess if the Stones are still out there.
Think the Stone Roses split up some time ago, Gramps.
sigh I meant Sly and the Family Stone. Get with it, lad.
I thought you meant Roger and Sharon, the power couple of today.
Crypto for dogs?
You didn’t just think it was for hamsters did you?
Not exclusively, no.
Like bit by a dug?
Exactly. And none of those fake soya dugs either, but real, bona fida genuine in the flesh dugs.
What do you call a man with no dog?
Isn’t April fools over yet?
Yes, at noon. That is a joke!