Netflix’s Murder Mystery 2 review – a silly & formulaic low-stakes whodunnit that wastes its talented cast


With a title as generic as Murder Mystery, the sequel to Netflix’s 2019 action comedy doesn’t exactly aim for greatness. Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are back reprising their roles as bickering couple Nick and Audrey Spitz (which of course rhymes with sh*t just so they can make some silly joke out of it). We learned in the first movie that Nick is a former NYPD that always aspires to be a detective while Audrey is a hairdresser who loves detective novels. They ended up dabbling in amateur sleuthing that got a bunch of people killed, which clearly doesn’t bother them one bit as they’ve somehow made a career as private detectives.

Fast forward to two years later and the two suddenly get an invite from their mega-rich friend Vikram, aka the Maharajah (Adeel Akhtar) to attend his lavish wedding to his French fiancée Claudette (Mélanie Laurent) on his private tropical island. So many comedies these days double as wealth porn with all the ridiculous excess of billionaire aesthetics. The flamingos, giraffes, and other exotic animals at Vikram’s compound wear diapers to keep their pristine grass free of any kind of unwanted discharge. Netflix spares no expense on the extravagant Indian wedding complete with a festive Punjabi dance number and an elephant. I was quite distracted by Aniston’s sparkly, intricately-embroidered two-piece lehenga designed by Indian fashion designer Manish Malhotra.


In any case, hijinks inevitably ensue when Vikram’s bodyguard turns up dead and Vikram himself is kidnapped. Enter MI6 agent Miller (Mark Strong) flies in to investigate the case and they receive a call from the kidnapper demanding $60 million ransom money to be dropped off at Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Why there? Well clearly the filmmakers want to make a vacation out of the whole film production, so why not? So off we go to the City of Lights… ticking off the boxes of popular landmarks such as the lock bridge, Palais Garnier, and the Eiffel Tower, though the Parisian visuals aren’t nearly as ravishing as those in John Wick 4. Oh, and the filmmakers ought to do more research about the lock bridge as it’s actually forbidden now to place a love lock on the famous bridge since it collapsed in 2014.

Directed by Jeremy Garelick, the screenplay is written by James Vanderbilt who also wrote the first one. I did a double take when I saw he’s the same writer who co-wrote the screenplay for David Fincher’s Zodiac, which is night and day in terms of tone, style, and well, quality. Now, Aniston and Sandler are longtime friends so they clearly enjoy working together. They have a great rapport though they seem more fun together in press interviews than in this movie as their characters can be insufferable.


The movie aims for classic couple action comedies like Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys, and The Nice Guys but never quite measures up to that level. I’m not saying there weren’t laugh-worthy moments, but the movie often resorts to cheap, lazy jokes that are borderline embarrassing. I mean, a character mistakenly calling Arc de Triomphe Arctic Tree Hump and calling the Spitzes the Sh*tzes on repeat isn’t exactly comedic gold. I feel like the writers just perpetuate the stereotype of dumb Americans, so it’s baffling to me the lead actors don’t take offense to that. I feel like you can still make something funny without dumbing down the characters to this degree.

As far as the actual whodunnit plot, there’s not much mystery to be found here. Heck, there are more complex riddles to solve on your daily Wordle! It’s all pretty low-stakes stuff, with nary of an iota of suspense. The finale atop the Eiffel Tower does have some sprightly action, there’s one where Aniston hangs off a chopper in a little black dress that reminds me of the scene of Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies. That whole sequence is pretty entertaining though I’d rather forget about the off-putting joke involving a French inspector and an unexpected female guest at Le Jules Verne restaurant.


Ultimately this movie is so formulaic and quintessentially mediocre, and it also makes another irritating faux pas of wasting its talented cast. Adeel Akhtar, Mélanie Laurent, Mark Strong, Jodie Turner-Smith, John Kani… none of them is given any moment to shine, in fact, most of their scenes are written in such daft, cringe-worthy manner. I hope they’ve been compensated nicely for their appearance here as this movie isn’t exactly ‘portfolio material.’

I mentioned in my mini-review of the first movie that watching this is like eating fast food… yes you enjoyed it but once you finished eating, you wished you’d eaten something far more nutritious. Speaking of fast, the best part of this movie is it’s only 90 minutes long, though likely it’ll be forgotten in half the time. Let’s hope Netflix put the kibosh on this silly franchise already.


Have you seen MURDER MYSTERY 2? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

7 thoughts on “Netflix’s Murder Mystery 2 review – a silly & formulaic low-stakes whodunnit that wastes its talented cast

  1. I’m sure it’s not as bad as some of Sandler’s other movies though I do give him credit for at least making these comedies to fund other projects where he wants to do serious work and stretch himself as an actor.

    1. Yeah, I just saw an Adam Sandler movie I absolutely love, HUSTLE. He’s so great in it. Obviously actors gotta do the sh*tty stuff to do the compelling ones they actually want to do, but man Netflix just churn out soooo many mediocre-to-bad movies while too many good indie filmmakers can’t even get their stuff off the ground. It’s depressing!

      1. Exactly. I’m dumbfounded that we’re going to get sequels to Red Notice. Ugh… and the Crock is going to do a live-action remake of Moana? Isn’t enough he already did damage to one cinematic universe and now wants to damage another?

        1. Sheesh!! I did see that on the news about MOANA live-action flick. Gaaah, I’m so tired of seeing his face on screen, surely he’s more palatable as a cartoon character. I’m so sick of Disney being so greedy they’re remaking ALL of their old IPs instead of creating new ones.

  2. Ted Saydalavong

    I put the first one on to watch list but haven’t watched it yet. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll watch it now. I used to enjoy some of Sandler’s films when I was in high school and college, but now I’m way older, I don’t really enjoy his type of humor anymore.

    1. I don’t think Sandler is the problem but more the writing, though it seems Aniston and Sandler are just cashing it in w/ these types of movies.

  3. Pingback: Alliance Lately: Issue No. 73 – The Minnesota Film Critics Alliance

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