CHENNAI: Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are back in Netflix’s “Murder Mystery 2” — a sequel to the smash hit 2019 film.
Directed by Jeremy Garelick, the sequel sees little of the poker-faced humour of the first but its lead stars do return to solve yet another mystery. This time they are on the case of a missing Indian maharaja (Adeel Akhtar), who is kidnapped during an extravagant wedding — itself a colorful extravaganza on screen.
Hoping to have a vacation at the invitation of the maharaja on his breathtakingly beautiful tropical island, Nick (Sandler) and Audrey (Aniston) find themselves in the lap of luxury, which soon turns into a nightmare.
Sandler, who after a few groan-worthy movies gave us such greats as “Uncut Gems” and “Hustle,” shows off his comedic chops in “Murder Mystery 2.” A former NYPD cop, Nick and his wife Audrey find themselves as amateur sleuths in the first installation of the franchise, which had all the classic ingredients of an Agatha Christie plot and was largely a chamber piece.
But in their latest adventure they spend more time outdoors, racking their brains to find the maharaja who goes missing on the eve of his marriage to his French fiancée Claudette (Melanie Laurent, who puts on a lovely performance). In true murder mystery style, everyone is a suspect, including Countess Sekou (Jodie Turner-Smith), who was previously engaged to the Maharaja; the Countess’s assistant, Imani (Zurin Vallanueava); the maharaja’s philanthropist sister, Saira (Kuhoo Verma); Francisco (Enrique Arce), who hits on every woman he sets his eyes on; and Namibian Colonel Ulenga (John Kani).
Returning screenwriter James Vanderbilt has pulled off a series of exciting action scenes and when the story shifts to Paris and its glittering Eiffel Tower, the city’s twinkling night-time allure adds a dollop of beauty to all the chaos the characters cause. The leads put their star power to good use and manage to keep the quirky comedy going, although this is sometimes thwarted by all the action and stunts.
It’s a fun ride but “Murder Mystery 2” could have had a bit more comedy, which Netflix will hopefully make up for in the rumoured but yet-to-be-confirmed part three.