The original Murder Mystery movie was released in 2019, and became an instant classic. The enticing plot, the endearing chemistry between Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, and the never ending laughs made for an unforgettable film. When I heard that a sequel was coming out, I was ecstatic. My sister and I planned for a Friday night in, made some popcorn, and pressed play.
And… FLOP. Within the first five minutes it all became clear… Murder Mystery 2 is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.
From the opening scene, a cliché, yet somehow hard to follow, plot was presented. Nick (Sandler) and Audrey (Ansiton) Spitz began the Murder Mystery sequel all too similarly to the original movie. They were unhappy in their marriage and uncertain about the future. And yet again, Nick and Audrey were ‘unexpectedly’ invited to a luxury vacation. A cute storyline the first time, but boring and disappointing when recreated. This time, they were traveling to the Maharaja’s wedding. Remember the crazy, finger-guns-character from the original Murder Mystery? Well he’s back.
I will admit, the scenery of this movie was incredible. The Maharaja’s wedding took place on a beautiful Hawaiian island, and the set later moved to Paris, France. On the island, a plethora of new characters (including the Maharaja’s fiance, sister, ex-fiance and her sidekick, and his company’s CEO) were introduced to the viewer as Nick and Audrey were welcomed to the island. However, not enough time was taken to get to know the characters, or even to understand their relevance to the past or the plot, leaving the viewer uninvested in any of them.
A murder mystery movie is not true to its name without a murder… and in this case, a kidnapping. Not long into the film, the Maharaja was kidnapped, and the Spitzs get back in action. Another meaningless character was called on to help with the investigation—a professional named Miller. Luckily, Spitzs were still of use because the kidnapper will only speak to Nick.
Here is my main criticism of the movie: the plot felt very hasty. It seemed that each time the writers were challenged to be creative with a character’s role, they took the easy way out and just killed them off instead. If that character was later deemed necessary to the plot, a convenient twist revealed that they never actually died in the first place. Fast forward to the end of the film, after the Spitzs (of course) saved the day with their master minds and fighting skills, the Spitzs were given a bag of money from the ever-grateful Maharaja—an appropriately boring ending. However, in one final bad plot twist, it was stolen from them soon after by their new helicopter pilot (the same person that delivered the money in the first place…), who then parachuted out of the airplane with the bag. Umm… was this some sort of inside joke between the writers? I don’t get it.
Hope for a good plot aside, one thing that I can always count on in an Adam Sandler movie is a consistent chuckle. But in this film, every joke just felt forced. I really wanted to laugh, but just couldn’t. So many of the jokes were about—wait for it—a block of cheese. We need more rules about which movies can be labeled a comedy. Not surprising, this movie only scored 45% rotten tomatoes, with some of my favorite Rotten Tomato reviews being, “Absolutely unbearable. A phoned-in and uninspired vanity project,” “It just doesn’t work. Bad jokes that fall flat,” and are simply “Insulting to the viewer.”.
Whether it was Jennifer Aniston’s all-too-obvious Botox, the confusing plot, or the uninteresting character choices, this movie missed the mark. Perhaps I should go easy on the writers, knowing that nothing could compare to the first Murder Mystery movie. To my readers, I highly suggest reserving 90 minutes of your time… to watch Murder Mystery 1 again.
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