Murder Mystery 2: Are Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler the Real Villains Here?
Murder Mystery 2 is weirdly violent for a slapstick comedy, and our heroes might be terrible people.
The murder mystery is having a bit of a heyday right now. Rian Johnson’s follow up to Knives Out, Glass Onion was a big hit for Netflix with critics and crowds equally pleased. Murder shows on the telly are everywhere. Detective shows are rife. See How They Run was really good and kind of underwatched… And Murder Mystery, a Netflix Original starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston became one of their most watched films when it arrived in 2019.
So we’ve got a follow up, Murder Mystery 2, available to stream now on Netflix. And frankly it’s a bit of a weird film. It’s a slapstick comedy about a slightly bored couple who love to solve crimes and it just involves so much death…
After hairdresser and crime novel enthusiast Audrey (Aniston) and cop Nick (Sandler) solve a murder on their European vacation they make the dubious decision to quit their jobs and start up a private detective agency. But frustrated with run of the mill infidelity cases the pair are a bit flat, so when an invite to the wedding of their old pal the Maharaja (Adeel Aktar) arrives, they are thrilled to take another international trip to his private island.
And they are almost gleeful when the Maharajah’s bodyguard is murdered and the Maharajah is kidnapped.
The rest of the film involves them gallivanting around Paris attempting to deliver, losing and then retrieving the ransom money, trying to work out which of the small handful of suspects might be responsible and semi-accidentally killing faceless goons. “You’re not only a murderer, you’re an axe murderer,” Nick points out after Aubrey accidentally plants an axe into the back of a bloke’s head. Then towards the end of the film, because of Audrey’s cunning plan, dastardly Mark Strong plummets to his death off the Eiffel tower and right into the blades of a helicopter, whose pilot is also presumably killed, right in front of Audrey and Nick. It’s pretty grim but played for laughs.
Benoit Blanc didn’t kill anyone. Sherlock Holmes killed Moriarty and Poirot killed someone in his last case but only when he was completely out of other options.
Aniston and Sandler are both (arguably) likable performers, but Audrey and Nick are kind of The Worst. They’re super-comfortable rinsing the Maharajah for iPhones even though it’s his wedding, are greedy and disrespectful with the buffet and snooty about other wedding guests.
They’re clearly not upset about the death of the body guard, and seem to want to resolve the hostage situation not because they care about the Maharajah but because it gives them a thrill and enhances their stale marriage. Indeed, Nick actually gambles with the Maharajah’s life, assuming that the bomb strapped to him won’t go off. He might be right, but that’s a bit of a callous risk! In fact, it looks suspiciously like the actions of a psychopath…
If there was any more evidence needed for the couple’s psychopathic tendencies, it’s the absolute lack of emotional baggage they are left with after their adventure. They have seen multiple people killed, several of which were killed by them, they have been threatened with a bomb, and they have seen their supposed friend kidnapped and yet never have you seen a couple less upset by a turn of events. Instead they accept a bag of money from the Maharajah and use of his private helicopter and head off for a lovely European vacation. A happy ending all round except for all the people who are dead.
Of course, the final moments set us up for a potential sequel as the helicopter pilot steals the bag of money and jumps out of the ‘copter mid flight. What will these emotionless thrill seekers do next? Look out for Netflix’s Murder Mystery 3 to find out…
Murder Mystery 2 is available to stream on Netflix.