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Commentary Entertainment

“Murder Mystery 2” review: Good ole’ stupid fun 

Art Imitates Death Murder Mystery at Siena College. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“Murder Mystery 2,” the sequel to the 2019 “Murder Mystery,” follows Nick and Audrey Spitz, now full-time private detectives, four years after their adventure with murder and mayhem in Monte Carlo. 

Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler reprise their roles as the detective couple while Adeel Akhtar returns as the “Maharajah” Vikram and John Kani returns as the now one-armed Colonel. Joining the cast are Mark Strong as a heroic detective, Melanie Laurent as the Maharajah’s fiance, Jodie Turner-Smith as the jealous ex-fiance, Kuhoo Verma as the Maharajah’s very accomplished sister and Enrique Arce as a flirtatious board member. 

I personally don’t think a peasant like me would ever be worthy of reviewing this visual masterpiece, but I shall try my best to present the indescribable glory that its characters represent. Nick and Audrey are invited by Vikram to his wedding on his private island. They more than happily accept as they are in desperate need of some professional credibility with their detective agency failing hilariously. Vikram is engaged to Claudette, a French ex-“shop-girl” (no clue what that means). His ex-fiance, Sekou, who also happens to be a Countess, is his current fiance’s maid of honor (obviously, duh), with the two previously being roommates. Because this wasn’t dramatic enough, she’s accompanied by Imani, her lady-in-waiting, who may or may not be surgically attached to the Countess because she does come with the “I will mean-girls-laugh every time you make a villainous comment” package(Siri, play “Meet the Plastics”). 

They’re joined by the intelligent Saira, Vikram’s sister, who is seen contemplating the reason behind her existence (as do I while I reflect on my taste in film) as she spends more time with these lovely characters. The flirtatious, or as I like to call him, the two thousand spawn fathering sleazeball (this figure is factually accurate with the movie, for I detest misreporting) Francisco joins the party as the head of the board of directors of Vikram’s company (or companies? I don’t know and the movie couldn’t care less). 

Meanwhile, Colonel Ulenga has lost his left arm protecting Vikram from an assassination attempt in Mumbai and has now been “demoted” from his previous bodyguard position due to his injury. He’s replaced by the ruthless Lou, someone the Colonel doesn’t particularly like. Oh, I wonder why? 

All is going well as this lovely motley crew of characters engage in a Bollywood dance ceremony that might bring you to tears at this Crazy Rich Indian wedding. But, hold your breath, Vikram is kidnapped (gasp!) when he’s supposed to make his entry on his elephant during the Bollywood dance sequence (I swear I’m not making any of this up). Nick and Audrey’s search for their beloved wannabe rapper friend who’s somehow also the Maharajah and the owner of this billion-dollar (I think?) group of industries (no clue what “business” they do, don’t ask) forms the plot of the cinematic feast that is  “Murder Mystery 2.”  

Jokes apart, the film is actually quite good. It has a fast-moving screenplay, a tight narrative, a lot of stupid humor, a bunch of characters that you just can’t look away from and a great background score. The cinematography is quite good for the most part, with a slow-motion action sequence as Nick embraces Audrey, jumping from the flames and into the water, standing out, particularly for the beautiful lighting and shots. There’s also a pretty decent hand-to-hand combat sequence in the climax. 

The VFX is questionable and the editing during the fight sequences is choppy, but they’re pretty forgivable for the most part. It is the cast that is the real hero of this film. All of them have exceptional comedic timing, delivering the most ridiculous lines with complete ease and confidence. Turner-Smith and Zurin Villanueva as the Countess and her lady-in-waiting, respectively, were my favorites – their mean girl energy is unmatchable and I’m here for it. Aniston and Sandler share incredible chemistry, making you laugh constantly with their “we’re an old married couple” shenanigans. 

Most importantly, the film knows what it is, doesn’t take itself seriously and doesn’t expect you to either. It’s completely stupid and very meta, but that’s exactly what it promised and it certainly delivers. It’s the kind of movie you watch with friends when all of you collectively have two functioning brain cells while you stuff your face with popcorn and marvel at the beauty that is this film. Highly recommend it. Just watch it with your brain in the freezer (please don’t take this literally, I don’t want to be sued). 

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