On a long-awaited trip to Europe, a New York City cop and his hairdresser wife scramble to solve a baffling murder aboard a billionaire’s yacht.
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Fans of Adam Sandler appear, generally speaking, to be split into two camps; those that believe he can do no wrong and the significantly larger group who have been disappointed by some of his later films and think he’s had his day as a comedy actor. “Murder Mystery” leads viewers in the second camp right back to their first love of Sandler and fans the flame of his new followers (has anybody not heard of Sandler?). He and Jennifer Aniston are a comedy duo that bounce off each other in such a relatable way as ‘Nick and Audrey Spitz’, a couple married for 15 years and stuck in that all too familiar marital rut.
Audrey, a hairdresser and Nick, a police officer, earn a modest income and have never been in a position to afford their dream holiday to Europe. In a bid to distract his wife from discovering he lied about making the grade as detective (again) and to combat Audrey’s disappointment over his lack of a thoughtful anniversary present, Nick announces he’s booked the trip to Europe that he promised as a honeymoon. On the flight ‘over the pond’, as Nick sleeps, Audrey meets millionaire English viscount Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans), much to their surprise Charles invites the pair to join him on his uncles yacht for the celebration of the nuptials of his elderly billionaire uncle Malcolm and his new wife (Charles own ex-fiance) Suzie.
When a murder takes place upon the yacht out at sea, ‘Detective’ Spitz and his wife set to work to uncover clues and solve the crime. In a classic whodunit style, all the attending eccentric guests are suspects, unfortunately that includes themselves as the American couple that nobody knows at an exclusive event for very rich people. Other actors include English actors David Walliams and Gemma Arterton and Icelandic actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
The film narrative contains twists expected of any good murder mystery and is jam packed with bite sized comedy moments at every turn. As the everyday couple caught up in a crazy weekend of adventure, Aniston and Sandler excel in the relatable roles of long-suffering husband and wife. Chasing suspects to prove their own innocence results in a conclusive scene representative of Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, heck even the Mystery Inc gang, the pair appear to finally unravel the answers to the bumbling French, Pink Panther style, detective Laurent Delacroix (Dany Boon) or have they? You’ll have to watch to find out what happens but you are unlikely to be disappointed and if you are then I suspect you’ve never played Cluedo. Watching together you’re bound to have your suspicions from the start over who is the murderer. It’s inevitable, expected even and all round good fun. In fact it’s all the fun of themed murder mystery party without the effort of entertaining!
Is murder mystery a family movie? The movie is rated 12 with references to sex. We decided as a family that our pre teens would be ok with this. With hindsight it was perhaps a little too much for the younger one given she has never experienced ‘Murder She Wrote’ ‘Diagnosis Murder’ or any other of the classics of the TV genre and so didn’t necessarily understand the spoof element of the film. Many of the gags were over both their heads and as for the sex references they giggled and moved on not really getting why the adults were laughing. This one very much comes down to parental guidance but it’s fair to say the 12 rating is accurate as a guideline regarding the language and murder theme alone.
Murder Mystery is highly recommended if you’re scrolling the never ending content of Netflix looking for something to cheer you up that needs no real brain power or serious thought but will land a smile on your face – if not a full blown belly laugh in your gut. Well done ‘Happy Madison Productions’ (Sandler’s production company formed in 1999 that has produced most of his movies since). As for Sandler himself, it’s good to have you back, Sir.
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!