Murder Mystery

Mention the phrase ‘an Adam Sandler movie’, all sorts of ideas come to mind. Many of them aren’t good considering the very broad style of comedy he uses. When he decides to give a strong performance, such as in ‘Punch Drunk Love’ and ‘Uncut Gems’, he can deliver the goods. Unfortunately he doesn’t do enough of that, mostly content in appearing in low-thinking works such as ‘Murder Mystery’. Nowhere in the same league as other comedy mysteries, ‘Murder Mystery’ offers miniscule mirth on a scale only Sandler can provide.

Nick (Adam Sandler) and Audrey (Jennifer Aniston) are a married couple enjoying a long-delayed honeymoon. On a plane to Europe, they meet wealthy stranger Charles (Luke Evans). Inviting them to him on his elderly Billionaire Uncle’s yacht, Nick and Audrey look forward to a fun time. None of that materialises when Charles’ Uncle is murdered. Framed for the crime, Nick and Audrey go on the run while trying to figure out “whodunnit”. With their honeymoon anything but magical, they come to realise that striving for marital bliss can sometimes be murder.

‘Murder Mystery’ is one of those films where you sit in the audience smiling and waiting to laugh. A few moments of genuine guffaws eventuate but not enough. The direction and writing is bland, with little imagination gone into crafting something new. The genres clichés pile up although ‘Murder Mystery’ has some fun scenes making it more bearable than other Sandler vehicles.

Although the story is mediocre, the performers seem to enjoy tackling the threadbare material. Sandler and Aniston share good comedic timing, with Aniston a consistently strong leading lady. The Italian locations are by far the film’s best asset. The chases and mayhem through its streets are wonderfully photographed, ensuring ‘Murder Mystery’ is a pleasure to watch in that sense.

There have been worse Adam Sandler movies with ‘Murder Mystery’ falling somewhere in the middle. Neither fish nor fowl, it’s an inoffensive, bland comedy with few laughs thrown in. Any creative failures won’t stop Sandler making these types of films with death, taxes and more Sandler productions a certainty in life’s strange cycle.

Rating out of 10: 4


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