Greetings again from the darkness. You know who you are. You are either a fan of Adam Sandler movies or you’re not. And no, we aren’t referring to his stellar dramatic turns in films like UNCUT GEMS (2019) and PUNCH DRUNK LOVE (2002). Rather we mean ‘funny Sandler’ and his distinctive comedic style. Of course, Mr. Sandler doesn’t much care about your judgment, as his comedy movie empire becomes more enormous and successful with each release – and his partnership with Netflix has taken things to a new level. This time he returns with leading lady Jennifer Aniston for a sequel to their 2019 hit, and it’s again written by James Vanderbilt (ZODIAC, 2007), but with a different director, Jeremy Garelick (THE WEDDING RINGER, 2015).

An opening “previously” sequence catches up anyone who has forgotten what happened in the original MURDER MYSTERY (2019), and anyone who didn’t watch. The basics are that it’s now four years after Nick and Audrey Spitz (Sandler and Aniston) solved their first case, and they are struggling to get their detective agency up and running. It’s causing a bit of marital strife as Nick is a bit tired of talking business and the relentless pressure, while Audrey (and Aniston’s “free the nipple” ways) wants her husband to be a bit more committed to the cause.

The couple gets what they need when their old friend (from the first movie) Maharajah (Adeel Akhtar) calls them and invites them to his wedding being held on his own private island. Nick and Audrey embrace their friend, as well as the lavish surroundings of the Indian wedding – even though the bride to be, Claudette (Melanie Laurent, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, 2009) is not Indian. A murder and kidnapping for ransom ruin the wedding party, although that happens after a boisterous Bollywood-style song and dance number.

Much like a traditional whodunnit, everyone close to the Maharajah is a prime suspect in his kidnapping. This includes his sister Saira (Kuhoo Verma: his ex-fiancé, Countess Sekou (Jodie Turner-Smith, AFTER YANG, 2021); his demoted head of security (returning from the first film) Colonel Ulenga (John Kani); and even bride-to-be Claudette. When Miller (Mark Strong) shows up, he quickly becomes the detective-in-charge … after all, he wrote the book. Unlike a traditional whodunnit, there are non-stop comedic twists, even permeating the more-impressive-than-expected action sequences.

Unlike the first movie where much of the happenings occurred on a boat, this film ‘escapes’ the private island and heads to beautiful Paris, France where the iconic Eiffel Tower becomes a significant set piece. This move also allows another reunion from the first movie when Inspector Delacroix (Danny Boon) shows up to work on the case. Sandler and Aniston have good chemistry and play off each other quite well, and there aren’t many movies that feature animals wearing diapers so as not to mess the grass. Sandler gets in some zingers, and it’s fun to watch Strong’s macho posing, but I still can’t believe they skipped a final “Gary” joke. Anyway, this will please fans of the first movie, and likely set the stage for a third, assuming Sandler and Aniston are up for it.

On Netflix beginning March 31, 2023


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