Netflix review: 'Murder Mystery 2' a sluggish sequel

Fred Hawson

Posted at Apr 07 2023 04:20 PM

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in 'Murder Mystery 2.' Netflix
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in 'Murder Mystery 2.' Netflix

After their first case, Nick and Audrey Spitz (Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston) are now working as full-time private detectives. However lately, their detective business had not been doing as well as they were expecting. Audrey wanted to take an examination in order to gain professional credibility for their detective work, but Nick thought she was just wasting her time. Because of this, they were also feeling a strain on their marriage. 

One day, their old friend, Vikram "The Maharajah" Govindan (Adeel Akhtar) invited them to his private island to attend his wedding with Parisian salesgirl Claudette (Melanie Laurent). There, they met Vikram's bodyguard Col. Ulenga (John Kani), his business partner Francisco (Enrique Arce), and his ex-girlfriend Countess Sekou (Jodie Turner-Smith). At the start of the elaborate wedding ceremony, a murder and a kidnapping had been committed. 

All the cliched elements of a typical Agatha Christie-style murder mystery are here again -- isolated remote location, a host of suspicious characters all with a strong motive for the crime, and a detective who was invited on the last minute. The same ingredients were in the first "Murder Mystery" movie in 2019, whose success inspired producer Adam Sandler to hire Jennifer Aniston again for this quickie sequel.

Aside from Sandler and Aniston, three more actors from the first movie came back to reprise their old characters. These were Adeel Akhtar, John Kani (whose Col. Ulenga had now lost his left arm) and Dany Boon (as police Inspector Delacroix). Mark Strong guest stars as a former MI6 agent Connor Miller, who also wrote the book Audrey was reviewing for her detective licensure examination. Laurent, Arce and Turner-Smith were hardly funny at all.

The lavish Indian wedding theme provided ample opportunity for the art director and costume designer to go to town, but that was about it. The story was certainly no "Glass Onion" or even the first "Murder Mystery," even when they shared the same basic formula. There was not much of Jennifer Aniston's' delightful naive antics which made the first film special. The only memorable death scene was that one that involved a helicopter, nothing else. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."