Murder Mystery 212
If there’s one comedian who has mystifyingly conjured up a long-standing career in film, it’s Adam Sandler. For the most part, he has been solely responsible for some heinous crimes against comedy in a whole slew of terrible films such as The Waterboy, Big Daddy and Little Nicky. Obviously being an alumni of the US sketch show Saturday Night Live has served him well, but for the most part, his contribution to comedy film has been painful.
And yet somehow, when he wants to, he can actually get to grips with the whole acting thing, putting in astonishing performances with the films Punch-Drunk Love and Uncut Gems, which makes us feel somehow that the joke is on us.
Still, when it was first announced he was teaming up with the super ‘friend’ly Jennifer Aniston in the rom-com Murder Mystery for Netflix, it didn’t bode at all well.
The fact then that it was hugely entertaining, was both a relief and a welcome surprise. So this sequel brought about the strangest of emotions, in actually kind of looking forward to an Adam Sandler comedy.
With the success of sorts of their case-solving abilities in Europe, Audrey (Aniston) and Nick (Sandler) Spitz, the couple have started their own detective agency. The problem is, it isn’t going terribly well, so they are pleased to be distracted by a call from an old friend, Vikram (Adeel Akhtar), AKA the Maharajah.
He is getting married, and wants the couple to attend, all expenses taken care of, on a private island. Considering their current disappointments on the work front, they readily accept, and soon find themselves whisked away to an idyllic island for the wedding.
It soon transpires however that when they go abroad, murder has a habit of following them, and here is no exception. On top of that, Vikram is kidnapped, which means the wedding is unlikely to go ahead any time soon.
So Nick and Audrey soon find themselves in the familiar situation of being in a remote place with a killer in their midst. Now all they have to do is use all their detectiving prowess to determine who it was. Which means it may take a while.
If ever there was a low brow alternative to the Knives Out franchise, this is it. Much like the first, this sequel doesn’t take itself very seriously, which makes it all the more charming.
Much like the first, the plot is complete and utter nonsense, but it really doesn’t matter, as it’s all about the gags, of which there are plenty. It helps that it’s written by the same guy, James Vanderbilt, who has an obvious grasp on both his leads shtick, and utilises it to good effect.
As you may have already detected, we’re not the biggest fans of Sandler in comic mode, but even we have to concede to really enjoying his performances over both films. And the his paring with Aniston is a natural one, that works perfectly.
Once again, Vanderbilt uses his model of a quirkier Hart to Hart that served the duo so well in the first, and replicates it well.
It’s safe to say that as far as the story is concerned, this one isn’t nearly as robust, and comes across somewhat as a cheeky knock-off, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had.
With rom-com films with a criminal twist in short supply, Murder Mystery 2 is a wickedly entertaining sequel that’s perfect for a cosy night in. And yes the biggest mystery still remains how Sandler can be funny despite an atrocious track record, which is one we can never see ever being solved.