Netflix's Murder Mystery Review

"Is there an Uber for boats?"

by Casimir Harlow

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Adam Sandler reunites with Jennifer Aniston for his latest Netflix production, struggling to get a laugh in this barely diverting riff on Death on the Nile.

Adam Sandler is - perhaps somewhat shockingly - one of the most successful stars on the planet, churning out some terrible comedies (Grown Ups) which somehow annihilate the Box Office. After signing a 4-film deal with Netflix, but going on to do 6, he's churned out a slew of pretty variable offerings, ranging from the ineffective comedy western The Ridiculous 6 and the slightly more engaging action-comedy The Do-Over, to some more dramatic and considered affairs, including Sandy Wexler, The Week Of, and, easily the highlight, one of the best films he has ever done in The Meyerowitz Stories.

Unfortunately Murder Mystery returns to pretty standard Sandler territory, reuniting him with Jennifer Aniston (which is hardly a good sign), for a very light and utterly forgettable romp riffing on Agatha Christie, taking in a pretty big cast of familiar players, but largely wasting any opportunity to rise above anything more than mild amusement.

Largely wasting any opportunity to rise above anything more than mild amusement

NY cop Nick doesn't want to tell his wife Audrey that he failed the Detective's exam again, instead, taking her on a long-promised European holiday and ending up invited on a yacht by a handsome stranger whose eccentric millionaire father promptly gets murdered, leaving everybody on the ship a suspect. When the police view Nick and Audrey - the outsiders - as the prime suspects, it falls upon the hapless duo to find the real culprit.
Murder Mystery
Enjoying some colourful European locations (and curiously graced with an absolutely stunning Dolby Vision presentation), and a cast that includes the likes of Terence Stamp, Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6), Gemma Arterton (recently in Their Finest), John Kani (Black Panther's father), David Walliams, Shiori Kutsuna (Yukio in Deadpool 2) and Adeel Akhtar (Utopia, Four Lions), Murder Mystery has a lot of ingredients but absolutely zero recipe, struggling to find a coherent script, and finding only brief amusement in largely throwaway quips from Sandler.

It doesn't take much cynicism to realise that Sandler and Aniston are just taking a paid vacation. At our expense

Although known for his comedy work (which is not necessarily a good thing, in this case), Sandler is actually much more accomplished in his more dramatic fare, and it's always a disappointment to see him utterly wasted, barely flipping off the autopilot for this outing, which just appears to be yet another excuse for him and his mates to go on an exotic holiday, hang around in mansions, party on a yacht, and even rocket around in classic supercars. Sure, actors sometimes benefit from the requirements of their roles (The Matrix and John Wick have likely made Keanu Reeves a bona fide gun-toting ninja), but the payoff is usually worth it (Cruise flying a helicopter/HALO jumping in Mission: Impossible - Fallout). It doesn't take much cynicism to realise that Sandler and Aniston are just taking a paid vacation. At our expense.

Scores

Verdict

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4
4
AVForumsSCORE
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10

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