I’d be lying if I said that Murder Mystery, the Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler whodunnit from Netflix, wasn’t an absolute surprise. The film was funny, kinetic, and surprisingly, Aniston and Sandler actually had great chemistry. Now the duo are back with a sequel that captures that same fun, and with a tighter script, it all pays off. Murder Mystery 2 is directed by Jeremy Garelick and written by James Vanderbilt and captures what made the first one worth a watch.
With their success at the end of the last film, Nick (Adam Sandler) and Audrey (Jennifer Aniston) are now full-time detectives but they kind of suck at it. No, they really suck at it. Whether it’s bad marketing or bad decisions, the married duo’s fledgling private eye agency just can’t seem to get off the ground. While the two wanted to start a new career together, working with your spouse isn’t all that easy, especially when things aren’t going well. At the end of their rope, the Maharaja (Adeel Akhtar)—yes, the one from the last film—invites the pair to his private island for his wedding and, of course, winds up being abducted.
Murder Mystery 2 works because of how great Aniston and Sandler are together. Replicating the same chemistry from the first film, Murder Mystery 2 is slightly smaller in scope, but Aniston and Sandler keep the energy high, and the comedy between them never gets stale or repetitive. This success is the endless dick jokes that we got on their first outing, as Nick and Audrey are nowhere to be found. Instead, the humor is rooted squarely in Nick and Audrey’s marriage, always using the little things spouses know about each other to get laughs. Add in some great action moments for the two to throw themselves into physical comedy, and it’s a recipe for success. While some of the larger gags not involving the pair fall flat a few times, Nick and Audrey are great enough to tilt the scales in Murder Mystery 2’s favor.
When it comes to the whodunnit at the center of Murder Mystery 2 there is something to be desired. Multiple Red Herrings and just about one too many twists make the film interesting, but their impact depreciates as the film continues, with each one eventually becoming fodder thanks to the breakneck pacing. The speed often undercuts any build-up of mystery that is necessary for a good whodunnit that thrives on its reveals. Murder Mystery 2 isn’t bad by any means, but by rushing through each misdirect, none of them have enough of an impact.
Additionally, the film’s use of special effects isn’t anything to write home about and does a disservice to some of the larger action moments. When stacked against its predecessor, the effects work stands out negatively. That said, the visuals aren’t all bad in Murder Mystery 2. The film captures that rich person’s eccentricity and opulence that helps displace Nick and Audrey. They’re a couple running a failing business, standing in lavish sets that help push the comedy further.
Overall though, Murder Mystery 2 is just really fun despite its hiccups. Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are a comedic duo you can believe have been married for 16 years. Add in a fairly electric ensemble cast (that should have been used more), including a deviously funny Mark Strong, and this film manages to be a great flick to watch, flaws and all.
Murder Mystery 2 is streaming exclusively on Netflix.
Murder Mystery 2
Murder Mystery 2 is just really fun despite its hiccups. Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are a comedic duo you can believe have been married for 16 years.
Kate Sánchez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of But Why Tho? A Geek Community. There, she coordinates film, television, anime, and manga coverage. Kate is also a freelance journalist writing features on video games, anime, and film. Her focus as a critic is championing animation and international films and television series for inclusion in awards cycles.