Big Blockbusters often hit their target with numbers, but how about the ride? Was it good for you?
Adam Sandler Movies, Murder Mystery is on Netflix
Murder Mystery, was released as a Netflix Original in June of 2019. A jaded cop and his wife head abroad for the honeymoon they've always wanted. After an impromptu invitation abroad a millionaire's cruise ship, they're framed for crimes they didn't commit.
- Action | Comedy | Drama & Rated PG-13
- Directed by Kyle Newacheck.
- Screenplay by James Vanderbilt.
- Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Anniston, Luke Evans, Terrance Stamp, Gemma Arterton and, David Williams.
More than 30 million people watched Murder Mystery when it dropped onto the streaming platform. A film that tells the story of an oddly matched couple, Nick (played by Sandler) and Audrey (played by Anniston.) Nick is a cop but has aspirations to be a police detective and Audrey, played by Anniston is a hairdresser.
The couple's jaded marriage underpinned by Nick's incessant lies, he failed the detective's test numerous times. He also just happens to have an unfailing ability to be a crappy husband. For more than a decade, Nick gives Audrey the honeymoon his wife has yearned for as a wedding anniversary present. On the flight, Audrey finds herself in the first class lounge, chatting with a wealthy aristocrat in the middle of the night. Lord Charles Cavendish invites the motley pair to join him. It's from this point onward the laughs should be abundant.
Lights, Camera, Action, It's Cluedo!
To be perfectly honest, I simply expected more from a team like Anniston and Sandler. The gags we low brow toilet humor instead of focused and most of them missed the mark. A running d*ck joke uttered by Nick Spitz in reference to Colonel Ulenga's bomb injuries were ill-timed and left hanging in the air. The film is constrained as a modern spin-off of old classic murder mystery tales but dulled by immature jokes.
The action, which should take center stage was also clearly lacking. Nick and Audrey's marriage pitfall is underwhelming, a lot of time is spent with the two discussing their problems and it impacted the pacing heavily. Sadler felt miscast in his role as a smart yet likable husband. He wasn't convincing as either. Perhaps this one-trick pony is running out of steam? In almost all scenes, I found him increasingly unlikeable and at times wished that Audrey would run off with the charming Charles. Later though, Audrey dons a fancy red dress and all seems to be forgiven. A generic script ploy did nothing to make up for the rest of the film.
A mystery movie I didn't care was solved, I would give Murder Mystery a hard pass.
Luke Warm Comedy
Unfortunately, there is so much to dislike about this lukewarm comedy. The cinematography was docile but colorful. In the opening scenes Audrey and Nick board the yacht and the painstaking familiarity is lost by bland and uninteresting personas. The characters all straight out of the board game Cluedo should have made the mystery movie more palatable, but a lack of cohesion squandered this angle. It's fair to say the narrative is set towards a specific formula and it was during this first half that I had my hopes up. Who doesn't like a good whodunit?
The generic layout of Murder Mystery is one aspect I liked about the film. It's fun to watch a cliche bunch of cartoonish characters come to life. Juan Carlos was the most memorable and enjoyable of the cast. Surprisingly he drives race cars and speaks no English. His well-timed enthusiasm inserted into conversations was cute and quirky to watch. I also enjoyed Charles Cavendish, played by Luke Evans. His performance here made for a convincing red herring.
You Can't Fake Drive
It was during the final scenes my patience wore thin. I fast-forwarded through one of the worst car chases I have ever seen. Anniston's ability to even remotely look like she was driving a Lamborghini and the inclusion of the chase having the camera facing her was a badly thought out idea.
Following this abysmal road race with a professional race car driver was a deflating and anti-climactic reveal. I do hope Murder Mystery's screenplay writer James Vanderbilt goes back to the darker areas of cinema in the future in lieu of this more light-hearted quasi rom-com, comedy genre.
While Murder Mystery wasn't completely without some enjoyable moments, they were few and far between.
I give Murder Mystery 2 hard-won stars out of 5
© 2019 Movie Whisperer
Movie Whisperer (author) from Moreton Bay, Queensland on June 27, 2019:
Haha Shepard’s, I actually blame the writer in this case plus the director. Combined with Sandlers flat delivery and Anniston’s inability to be as stupid as her character it was just a bit off.
Thanks for commenting!
Sam Shepards from Europe on June 27, 2019:
Best movie of 2019 so far!
If we have to believe the popularity of the movie on Netflix.
Anyway good review, I was dining and staying for dessert at my mom's place when she started watching this on Netflix. Got one or two chuckles, but most of the movie fell flat, very flat. I wonder if they even tried the jokes or just read them from the script.