Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 400-Word Review: Murder Mystery

Well into Adam Sandler's tenure as a Netflix actor, he finally comes up with a mostly enjoyable comedy.




Photo courtesy Netflix
 

Adam Sandler continues to appear in Netflix originals, many of which have passed without much notice. You’d be forgiven if the likes of “Sandy Wexler” or “The Do-Over” escaped your notice; they were neither strongly promoted nor critically admired. (His infamous debut with the streamer, “The Ridiculous 6,” maintains its 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes to this day.)

The Sandler deal, and several of the films the star has made for Netflix, predated the service’s great leap forward in terms of movie quality. This is now the home of “Roma” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” With the service positioning itself not merely as a content shotgun but also as a destination for prestige, can Sandler — famously indifferent to the objective quality of his output — keep up?

At least in the case of “Murder Mystery,” the answer is: Sort of!

It’s a perfectly acceptable diversion, at least. Nick (Sandler) and Audrey Spitz (Jennifer Aniston) are approaching their 15th wedding anniversary, an interval which has passed without a honeymoon. He’s a New York beat cop, and he’s hiding the fact that he hasn’t yet been promoted to detective. (He’s also pretending he’s pulling in a detective’s salary.) Rather than admit his failings, though, Nick books a slapdash trip to Europe.

En route, Audrey meets a dashing hunk of minor nobility, Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans). For reasons the script doesn’t precisely make clear, the viscount is enamored with the couple and invites them to join him on his preposterously ornate yacht. The Spitzes arrive to find it packed with an Agatha Christie-esque cast of characters; when Cavendish’s wealthy father is murdered, a good, old-fashioned whodunit is afoot.

Both Spitzes want to crack the case; Nick to prove his detective chops, Audrey because she’s a devoted mystery-novel hound. Aided by a game supporting cast including John Kani, Gemma Arterton and Terence Stamp, the light premise gives Aniston and Sandler plenty to play off of.

The leads seem more at home here than they did in their big-screen pairing, “Just Go With It,” and Sandler’s slightly aloof banter is served well here. Director Kyle Newacheck, mostly a TV-comedy veteran, keeps things simple, but manages to capture some lovely shots of dreamy European settings.

It’s not another “Happy Gilmore,” or even a “Waterboy.” But “Murder Mystery” is a breezy and occasionally funny slice of light entertainment. That’s not a bad look for Sandler.

My Rating: 6/10
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Artist Invites Public to Add to Time Capsule at Arts Festival

Toby Fraley’s love for historical photos inspired him to take the next step for Pittsburgh’s future.

New Dimensions: The Comic Book Store's Surprise Move

Comic-book (store) avengers. How a sprawling comic-book shop moved out of its longtime home — and reopened for business mere hours later.

PM on KD: Recent Restaurant Openings

PM food critic Hal B. Klein appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss recent Pittsburgh restaurant openings that have him excited.

One Person's Flip Flop is Another One's Art

Ocean Sole Africa’s mission is to reduce pollution and waste by collecting flip flops from the ocean and making them into art.

All In The (Giaramita) Family: La Tavola Italiana and Pizza Taglio

Family members run two distinct restaurants, one classic and one with a contemporary spin.

DeCastro’s Preferred Order: Fries with That, Hold the Drama

The Steelers have emerged from their offseason sessions confident they’re capable of playing better. They also maintain a new atmosphere and culture have been established. But they won’t know for certain until they actually start playing.

Restaurant Review: Masala House in Shadyside

You'll find excellent Indian cuisine in a Shadyside building with a long culinary history.

A Tale of Two Strands: Theaters With the Same Name

In two small towns nearby, old vaudeville stages — which share the same name — have reopened and revitalized their communities.

Hello Neighbor and Scratch Food & Beverage Pair Up for a Very Special Dinner

The community dinner will feature Syrian cuisine, raising awareness of Hello Neighbor's mission and promoting connection and conversation with the region's refugee families.

The 400-Word Review: Murder Mystery

Well into Adam Sandler's tenure as a Netflix actor, he finally comes up with a mostly enjoyable comedy.

From Pittsburgh to the Moon: Our Role in the Space Race

As the nation and private entrepreneurs focus again on space, 50 years after Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, Pittsburgh is once again in the celestial spotlight.

The 400-Word Review: Men in Black International

The alien-comedy series hasn't been good since the 20th century. That trend continues with this soft reboot.

Sweet Partnership: Cakery Square and Fudge Farm

The opening of Fudge Farm's Bloomfield store marks an expansion of Wes Lyons' Pursuit Program and larger menu for the confectioners.

Things We Love — Three Rivers Arts Festival Edition

HOME editor Jessica Sinichak shares her favorite, locally made decorative items from the show.

In a Crowded City for Concerts, Rivers Casino Steps Up

The casino's new Events Center proves itself more than worthy of competing for big-name acts.