Old-fashioned movie star charm filches a goofy, amiable cinema that places a New York couple in the middle of a European whodunnit

Adam Sandler’s diabolical eight-movie deal with Netflix arrived as both a praise and a blaspheme for those who had actually accepted any of his last eight self-produced theatrical exhausts. While it allowed most of us to simply pretend he had stopped working( degrees for anyone who’s even aware of what Sandy Wexler is ), it also allowed him to continue clearing the same cinemas that even his most impassioned fans had stopped buying tickets for. His streaming yield has been predictably, punishingly unfunny up until now, and one would safely expect the same from his latest, which reunites him with Jennifer Aniston, who starred with him in 2011′ s execrable romcom Just Go With It.

But while that film couldn’t capitalise on its big star pairing, their second attempt, the crudely titled Murder Mystery, is a far more satisfying experience, a surprisingly agile summertime humor that receives both Aniston and Sandler at their most alluring. They star as a married couple living a instead staid life in New York: he’s Nick, a cop professing he’s a detective while she’s Audrey, his unaware hairdresser wife who pines for more intrigue. He owes her a European honeymoon and on their 15 th anniversary, he finally caves and the pair head abroad for a much-needed getaway. But after Audrey befriends a suave playboy( Luke Evans ), they find themselves invited to a comfortable ship defendant hosted by a billionaire( Terence Stamp) who soon turns up dead, leaving the couple as prime suspects.

Originally slated to adept Charlize Theron with Shakespeare in Love’s John Madden at the helm, Murder Mystery might now be arriving in a far less glamorous bundle, heralded in by the director of Game Over, Man !, but there’s a propulsive watchability that still realizes it slither. It starts on rocky ground with reputations defining themselves in clumsily broad-spectrum strokings and the script relying on sitcom-level gender stereotypes( in one background a group of women complain about their partners not doing the bowls enough) but once the couple’s in the air, things smooth out substantially. The dialogue, from the Zodiac and White House Down screenwriter James Vanderbilt, is zippy and relatively smart-alecky, playing like a fast-paced mix of Game Night and Manhattan Murder Mystery. Aniston’s reference is haunted with trashy mystery novels with titles such as RSVP Murder and raises a self-awareness to the Clue-style drama that reveals around them. Both she and Sandler are comfortably in their wheelhouses but while this has led them both to coast on autopilot in the past, here they’re able to confidently lean into their movie star charm.

Nothing here is a great stretch for either, but that’s sort of the request and it’s a pleasure to watch two starrings are conscious of what an audience requires from them without taking this knowledge for awarded. They’re playing up to their quintessential kinds but in a manner which is that never feels phoned in, and there’s a lived-in married couple chemistry that realizes their bickering believably spiky. Unlike in previous Sandler comedies, the dialogue is mostly tight and free of showboating opportunities and it’s also less puerile than what we’re used to seeing from him, bar one ongoing dick joke. He’s easily the best we have see him in years, outside of his impressive indie work with Noah Baumbach and Paul Thomas Anderson, and it’s also specially pandering to see Aniston in arguably her first successful comic persona since 2013′ s We’re the Millers, the years in between littered with unfunny dross.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here