MURDER MYSTERY 2
Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Strong, Mélanie Laurent, Jodie Turner-Smith, Zurin Villanueva, Enrique Arce, Adeel Akhtar, Kuhoo Verma, John Kani, and Dany Boon
Director: Jeremy Garelick
Comedy-wise, the Adam Sandler/Netflix experiment has not garnered very good results. In saying that, 2019's Murder Mystery (an average comedy in and of itself) is likely the best of that crop so far. So, even though it didn’t really need a sequel, Murder Mystery 2 is here, and it's basically a notch worse in every way. The comedy is a little more "miss," the supporting cast is a little less interesting, and the twists are a little more telegraphed. It’s a franchise that need not continue, and it’s time to see Sandler continue full steam ahead with his dramatic roles and Oscar push.
Murder Mystery 2 isn’t a sequel that needs to exist, nor is it good enough to justify its own existence. Still, even as you acknowledge that it’s just an algorithm-driven money grab that granted Adam Sandler a paid vacation to an exotic locale, there is something inherently watchable about The Sandman. Despite hit and (mostly) miss jokes and pedestrian action sequences, there is just enough charm to keep it from being a total waste of time. The 80-minute runtime doesn’t hurt either. It’s not exactly “good,” per se, but it’s better than some other Netflix Originals (looking at you, The Man from Toronto).
Murder Mystery 2 in no way revitalizes the Happy Madison brand, nor does it deviate from Adam Sandler’s typical fare. That being said, it is a film that is fun enough to be entertaining. The jokes are mostly duds, unable to elicit even a chuckle, but there are several clever visual gags worth a laugh. As for the actual mystery, it's fun trying to figure out who the guilty party is, and it’s crafted well enough that I expect many to be bamboozled. All in all, Murder Mystery 2 is the type of film you watch while doing chores.