Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, Luke Evans
Director: Kyle Newacheck
Netflix’s Murder Mystery, the new Jennifer Aniston-Adam Sandler film, never delivers what it promises–a decent American romantic comedy, complimented with smartly done Europe-set whodunit.
As it continues to falter on several fronts, except shoot worthy locations and a taut script, one is presented with an end result that he/she couldn’t care less for. A half-baked mystery novel like thriller and an unsuccessful attempt at dialogue-driven comedy between Aniston and Sandler is what forms a major portion of this 100-minute film which relies heavily on husband-wife bickering to resuscitate the plot.
Good thing is that web lets you make movies that impassioned fans stopped buying tickets to long ago. So here is your guilty indulgence, only predictable and unfunny.
Watch Murder Mystery trailer here:
Audrey Spitz (Aniston) is obsessed with mystery novels and is looking for some thrill outside marital life, which is delineated by mediocrity. Her bonding with husband is ageing between promises unkept and the ever diminishing element of surprise. Her husband of modest means, Nick Spitz, is played by a bogged down, underconfident NYPD cop that is Adam Sandler.
He has been bluffing about his promotion for over a year now while she keeps dreaming of a better, first class upgrade. No spoilers, but their chemistry does let the suspicion quotient high on modern day human relationships in general.
Audrey gets invited to a weekend party on a yacht by Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans) and she gives into it, seeing it’s her only chance in life to get on a boat. Next, a rich man (Malcolm Quince) gets murdered for money and this sets in motion a series of case related deaths that Audrey and Nick must justify in terms of possible motives among the guests to clear the blame off their shoulders.
With an actual murder in sight and their own lives at stake, Nick finally has the chance to prove his worth to himself and his wife that he is not just a beat up cop. But the character banks on Sandler’s fast-talking, know-it-all, obnoxious comedy so much that he comes off as a miserable, middle-aged ruiner who brings down Audrey–the real deal here–a believable and naive character.
Aniston plays Audrey with the passive innocence of a disappointed wife and puts on a genuine performance. Her brightening presence and dead end detective skills make Murder Mystery a satisfying experience and beyond that it is just a sit-com level script that relies on star power and gender stereotypes to deliver no points across. Actors don’t attempt to do anything that feels like a stretch outside the comfortable genre tropes and a drab story just makes the charade look phony.
Murder Mystery is an underwhelming time at comedy and an excruciating and limited attempt at storytelling. It seems inviting but is unrewarding.
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