Not much of a mystery from Murder Mystery 2

Bakhsish Kaur and Rabtah Jinan, Film & TV Staff Writers

Rating: 8/10




Recently, Netflix released Murder Mystery 2, a crime rom-com starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler and directed by Jeremy Garelick. It follows the lives of Audrey and Nick Spitz following the results of the original movie. We come to realize that the Spitz’s aren’t doing very well after their experience in Murder Mystery; they decided to start their own private investigation agency, but its failure took a toll on their marriage. The couple decides to take a break from the business and go to the wedding of their friend, the Maharaja, in order to help revive their marriage. At the wedding, the Maharaja gets kidnapped and the couple takes on the challenge of unveiling the culprit. 

The movie itself is predictable. It’s easy to deduce who the culprit is the moment the suspects are introduced, which doesn’t keep you very interested in the mystery itself.  As the movie progressed, the suspect’s motives were shown, which only confirmed who the murderer was. While the writers tried to throw the audience off course by giving the culprit a flimsy alibi, this just made it more obvious who committed the crime.   

Before the kidnapping of the Maharaja, the movie centered around the Maharaja’s wedding, which was a lavish Indian wedding. Being Indian myself, I enjoyed seeing my culture being portrayed in the media, even if only for a few minutes. South Asian representation in Western media is little to none, and if we ever see any mention of it, it’s portrayed in a mocking manner. Cultural representation is crucial for viewers, as it’s important to see someone like yourself reflected in entertainment, and at least the film delivered on that front.

I thoroughly enjoyed how this movie incorporated Indian culture and made sure to provide respectful cultural representation. The costume design, for instance, was incredibly accurate. Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler both looked absolutely stunning in their lehenga and kurta pajamas, respectively. Watching these actors wear something I wear was a breath of fresh air, as the same outfits that are historically mocked in Western media were being worn by well-known actors. Just seeing the outfits and foods, hearing the music, and seeing different aspects of Indian culture in this film, even to a small degree, made me ecstatic. I was able to see Audrey Spitz fill up her plate with roti (a common staple meal in every Indian home), henna being applied onto people’s hands, and a song by Karan Aujla, a famous Punjabi singer, blaring in the scene. Seeing as I am Indian Punjabi, Murder Mystery 2 incorporating this into their film meant a lot to me. While these cultural aspects weren’t the main focus of the movie, they definitely elevated my personal impression of the film while watching.

To add to the experience, the comedic aspect of the movie was fantastic. The one-liners were executed well, provoking a chuckle in the audience here and there. The film, overall, deserves credit for its high degree of entertainment. Regarding the introduction of the Countess Sekou and her sidekick Imani, two of the suspects in the murder, I appreciated how they knew they were using a trope and utilized it in the best way possible. For instance, Spitz commented on the fact that in a duo, the main antagonist always double-crosses the sidekick. This ends up happening when the Countess shoots Imani, but in order to put a spin on this trope, the showdown ends with Imani triple-crossing the Countess and killing her. Along with this, comedy is utilized through distinctive character traits, such as giving Imani a peculiar laugh that makes her character itself humorous. 

 Murder Mystery 2 does a phenomenal job representing cultural interests and utilizing comedy, but fails to give us an actual enthralling mystery. The film falls short in utilizing the actual mystique its name entails, but it is definitely a more productive watch if you’re looking for some time to pass or to just watch mindless entertainment.