'Murder Mystery 2': The second Sandler-Aniston is tougher, dumber than the first

Although the 2019 comedy “Murder Mystery” has one of the laziest titles ever and is burdened with a label not necessarily as flattering as Adam Sandler's Netflix Movie, I found it to be a moderately entertaining Agatha Christie takeoff – sort of a “Knives Out” lacking. ambitious, if you will, with Sandler and Jennifer Aniston nicely paired as New York City police officer Nick Spitz and his hairstylist wife Audrey, who stumble upon solving a string of murders while celebrating the 15th anniversary of their second European honeymoon.

“Murder Mystery 2”? Why not? Sure, a lot of the main cast from the original couldn't come back, being killed off and all, but it might be fun to go after Spitze and see what they did.

Unfortunately, the answer is that they are front and center in other overseas murder mysteries that are big on pyrotechnics and stunt work but have little to recommend in terms of intelligence or suspense. It's bigger, louder, and dumber than the original—full of cartoonish violence, only the occasional hilarious dialogue and a group of suspects/victims just aren't quite as exciting as the bunch from the first film.

Sandler and Aniston still have an effective and very casual vibe; we believe them to be this nice working class couple, who have started their own detective agency (but aren't very good at it) when it comes to the incredibly convenient plot device of an all-expenses paid trip offer to the wedding of their billionaire friend, Maharaja (Adeel Akhtar), on his private island.

Once the Spitzes arrive at this impossibly beautiful location, they are reunited with John Kani's Colonel Ulenga, who has one arm even less than he did in the first film, and they meet a group of characters who are destined to become one. victims or suspects in the coming days. Respected French actress Mélanie Laurent quits starring in good films to play the Maharaja's fiancé, Claudette; Jodie Turner-Smith plays the former Maharaja and Claudette's friend Countess Sekou; Enrique Arce is the misogynist, former football great Francisco's woman, and Kuhoo Verma is the Maharajah sister, Saira.


When the Maharaja's main bodyguard is killed and the Maharaja is kidnapped, it is time for Nick and Audrey to go into detective mode. The action shifts to Paris, and the body count starts piling up in predictably comical fashion. Nick and Audrey find themselves the prime suspects, even if it's far-fetched, with Dany Boon's Inspector Laurent once again proving to be quite manly but also terrible at his job.

Much of the humor in “Murder Mystery 2” is based on Nick and Audrey as working-class fish out of the water — dressed in their stupid American casuals, piling up free plates of food whenever possible, engaging in slapstick confrontations in Paris where they somehow managed to take down a professional killer, while exchanging sitcom banter. The finale is an extended sequence on the Eiffel Tower, with a level of violence that surpasses any comedic effort. Maybe it's time for Nick and Audrey to rethink the invitation to polish it across the pond.