Who doesn't love a good mystery; a juicy whodunit you can sink your teeth into and bite off a big chunk? And what makes such a mystery even better? A kidnapping, a murder, and 70 million dollars for starters. Of course, adding in a hotshot detective or two always helps - from Miss Marple to Sherlock Holmes from Hercule Poirot to Nick and Audrey Spitz...wait, what?!? Yes, the husband and wife team of Nick (Adam Sandler; Happy Gilmore) and Audrey (Jennifer Aniston; Office Space) Spitz return with their special brand of sleuth-solving skills in Netflix's sequel, Murder Mystery 2.
After their adventure in Europe ends, Nick and Audrey return home to the United States and open their own detective agency with little success. However, when they head to their friend, Maharajah's (Adeel Akhtar; The Big Sick) lavish wedding, they find themselves once again embroiled in a mystery with their friend missing and them being accused of murder. Following all the leads, they discover everyone has a motive and most of the "players" had the means. Calling on all their training and some luck, the Spitz's eventually deduce who the murder(s) is (are) and clear their name while keeping their friends alive.
As some would say, " third time is a charm" as this is the third film these two leads have worked together in a dozen years. The first was a comedy called Just Go With It and the second was four years ago with the release of Murder Mystery. This latest endeavor, Murder Mystery 2, proves they have a great connection and can convincingly portray a couple onscreen. It helps that they are surrounded by some wonderfully talented actors including Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Mèlanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds), Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen and Slim), and, John Kane (Black Panther).
What is different about this sequel is the costumes and locations. The extravagant wedding scene with the incredible, Indian-themed attire is magnificent and opulent and director Jeremy Garelick's (The Binge) attention to detail pays off. The overhead shots of a beautiful island retreat, complete with a waterfall offer a sense of what is at stake and help the audience understand why the Maharajah was kidnapped and people were murdered. While the stunts were decent, there are moments when there is some CGI work at play, which I would hope as I doubt anyone would want to watch Jennifer Aniston dangle from the Eiffel Tower (though someone should ask Jamie Lee Curtis about that idea, and dangling from a helicopter).
The script is ok for the most part but nothing one wouldn't expect from a murder mystery. Writer James Vanderbilt (White House Down) brings a laugh or two for Sandler and Aniston to chew on but he mainly falls back on recycled tropes to tell the story. You know what they say...if it Ian't broke, don't fix it, and, in this case, no truer words have been spoken.
Netflix had a winner back in 2019 with the first film so it stands to reason that they would make a sequel and since fans already know what to expect, I presume the streaming channel will have some great viewership numbers after the April fools weekend. With the winning formula of Sandler and Aniston and a tried and true story, how could they lose?
Murder Mystery 2 is mindless fun without all the over-the-top expenses a major feature film would throw in to justify the cost of a higher ticket price. If you sit down with realistic expectations and a bucket of popcorn, this is one movie the whole family can enjoy.