'Murder Mystery 2' Is Typical Adam Sandler, Mostly in a Good Way

Directed by Jeremy Garelick

Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Adeel Akhtar, John Kani, Mélanie Laurent, Jodie Turner-Smith, Jillian Bell, Enrique Arce, Mark Strong

BY Alex HudsonPublished Apr 3, 2023

After 2019's Uncut Gems and 2022's Hustle, Adam Sandler's reputation as a Serious Actor has never been better. But those roles may have been a blip rather than a full career pivot, since he's back to his usual self in Murder Mystery 2 — a film that works nicely as a lightweight comedy, but is a little too silly to be the action-filled whodunnit it aspires to be.

The first Murder Mystery, from 2019, is distinctly better than some of Sandler's other disastrous Netflix offerings — The Ridiculous 6, I'm looking at you — and the sequel repeats that film's formula as a caper about a couple in way over their heads.

In the years since Nick Spitz (Sandler) and his wife Audrey (Jennifer Aniston) unintentionally became crime-solvers in the first film, they have quit their jobs in order to pursue a new career as a private investigation duo. It's not going all that well, however, and they're back to their usual bickering dynamic.

Their luck turns around once Maharaj (Adeel Akhtar), one of their wealthy connections from the first film, invites them to his opulent wedding and gets kidnapped. This gives the Spitzes a new crime to solve, and Sandler and Aniston a convenient excuse to get paid for a glorified vacation in a tropical paradise. Everybody wins.

The film prioritizes comedy over intrigue, with one scene of murderous double crossing resembling the SNL sketch "Dear Sister." This makes for plenty of laughs, but it's hard to take the plot seriously when director Jeremy Garelick clearly doesn't either. Whodunnit? Who cares.

In the typical Sandler way, not all of the jokes land. One recurring gag is about how Nick compulsively eats delicious cheese. That's it. That's the whole joke. Another is about how former soccer star Francisco (Enrique Arce) keeps trying to sleep with Audrey, which is about as funny as it sounds.

But also, in the typical Sandler way, it somehow doesn't really matter all that much that the material is uneven. He and Aniston have great chemistry (maybe not quite as good as he has with Drew Barrymore, but close), and it's impossible not to be charmed by his snark and self-effacing wackiness. Sandler is an incredibly likeable on-screen presence, despite (or maybe even because of) the way he barely seems to be trying, making Murder Mystery 2 a slight but enjoyable instalment in Happy Madison's goofy canon.

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