Unlike most film enthusiasts, I tend to research on movies after I watch them. So after I was done streaming “Murder Mystery” starring Adam Sandler & Jennifer Aniston, here’s what I found out – it was the most popular film on Netflix in 2019, according to the company.
Is the comedy really that good? Directed by Kyle Newacheck, it’s definitely very entertaining. And manages to get enough laughs out of the viewer, even if most of it is “what the fuck, this is so silly” kinds. Sandler has this brand of man-child comedy that can either be risible or repellent. This one falls in the former category. Jennifer Aniston has a typical Rachel like role, so no challenges there. The two lead actors play an American couple Nick & Audrey Spitz, who are on their European honeymoon 15 years after their marriage. Audrey bumps into a charming handsome man called Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans) on their flight and he kindly invites the couple to the family yacht owned by his billionaire uncle Malcom Quince (Terence Stamp). What could have been an idyllic getaway takes a strange turn when the old rich man is murdered on French waters. The needle of suspicion immediately falls on the Spitz pair and they try to crack the case to prove their innocence.
The movie has a zany Agatha Christie novel vibe, where there are multiple murder suspects and the one with the least obvious motive turns out to be the killer. Unlike most mystery films, this one is not very easy to predict. There is so much happening in the film, that instead of trying to guess who the murderer is, the viewer is engrossed in the madness unfolding on the screen. Each character is almost caricature like, you have a beautiful gold-digging Asian (Shioli Kutsuna) who entraps a wealthy white man; then there is a “Maharajah” from Mumbai who loves living it large; also onboard is a Colonel with an eye-patch who seems like a mean dick… so on and so forth.
Sandler & Aniston have an easy camaraderie that helps steer the movie smoothly. Writer James Vanderbilt has done a pretty cool job, despite using some tried and tested tropes. Since it’s set in Europe, the film is visually very aesthetic and makes the viewer want to dash off to take their own European vacation.
“Murder Mystery” may not be nail-biting thriller territory, or even “laugh your heart out” sorts of comedy, it’s definitely a good pick for the weekend to while away time, especially for a movie-night with friends.