Monday, June 24, 2024

‘Murder Mystery 2’ movie review: Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler have a jolly good time in light-hearted sequel

Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in a still from ‘Murder Mystery 2’

Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in a still from ‘Murder Mystery 2’
| Photo Credit: Netflix

Four years after finding out who murdered the rich old man on a luxury yacht, NYPD officer Nick Spitz (Adam Sandler) and his hairdresser wife, Audrey, (Jennifer Aniston) have set up a detective agency. Despite solving many mysteries including one aboard the Orient Express (which if you remember the couple were setting off on at the end of the 2019 movie), the couple is struggling to get their business going.

Murder Mystery 2 (English)

Director: Jeremy Garelick

Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Mélanie Laurent, Jodie Turner-Smith, Annie Mumolo, Tony Goldwyn, Mark Strong

Storyline: The Spitzs are at it again, this time solving a killing and kidnapping at a big fat Indian wedding

Run time: 89 minutes

When their friend, Maharaja Vikram (Adeel Akhtar) invites them to an island for his wedding, it seems like just the break the two need. Off they go to the exotic island sharing some banter with the slightly weird helicopter pilot (Carlos Ponce) who seems to deliberately mispronounce their surname.

The destination wedding is all opulence and luxury. The Spitzs have monogrammed bedcovers, a platter of exotic cheese and a welcome gift bag containing the latest iPhones among other goodies. When Audrey fears not having the right clothes for such a lavish affair, the couple is pleased to discover a wardrobe stuffed with suitable clothes.

Nick cuts a fine figure in a sherwani as does Audrey in her Manish Malhotra ghaghra(none of that sari-ghagra and weird Mohawk that Carrie had on in And Just Like That…). The dashing duo head to the sangeet, a kind of rehearsal dinner, as Vikram’s shop-girl-turned-fiancée, Claudette, (Mélanie Laurent) helpfully explains.

At the sangeet, the couple meets the other guests, including the haughty Countess Sekou (Jodie Turner-Smith), who was engaged to Vikram, and her assistant with a bizarre giggle, Imani (Zurin Villanueva), Col. Ulenga (John Kani), Vikram’s bodyguard till an unfortunate incident in Mumbai (cue the tasteless arm jokes), Francisco (Enrique Arce), former footballer with a glad eye and penchant for head-butting, who runs Vikram’s many businesses, and Saira (Kuhoo Verma), Vikram’s supercilious sister.

After the groom makes a grand entry on an elephant, things go rapidly wrong, with a dead body and a kidnapping. There are 400 guests/suspects and it is time for former SAS mercenary, top-level hostage negotiator and writer of the ultimate textbook on detective work, Miller (Mark Strong) to step in.  

The action hurtles from the exotic island to the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower and an opera, for a jolly travelogue pulled along smoothly on the rails of Aniston’s and Sandler’s considerable comic talent. Apart from Vikram and Col. Ulenga from the earlier movie, Inspector Delacroix (Dany Boon) also makes an appearance.

Like its predecessor, Murder Mystery 2 offers some light-hearted fun. That clue with the henna was rather clever and inclusive as was all the music at the sangeet. However, James Vanderbilt, who wrote both the movies, should consider stopping with this sequel as there is the very real danger of the law of diminishing returns coming into play.

Murder Mystery 2 is currently streaming on Netflix

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