Viewed by 30 million people on its opening weekend, this woefully median comic caper is an odd addition to the actors CVs
Thirty-nine minutes and 40 seconds, I have it down as- 39 m 40 s flat. That observes the first time I chuckled during the dark comedy film Murder Mystery( Netflix, out now ), starring Adam Sandler( 90 s comedian) and Jennifer Aniston( best available actor in Hollywood at saying : “Ooh!” while blowing periphery out of her face to call mild-to-medium surprise ).
And I want to say something to caveat that fact: I am a very simple man. Phenomenally readily entertained. Leave me alone in a silent room- solitary confinement, say, inside a high-risk prison- and I’ll got something to jest at within 40 times. I have been to funny funerals. Some third-warning fulfills at work. You can titter while a headmaster is screaming at you, and I have the stern notes written home to my mother to prove it. But Adam Sandler, trying his best? Forty entire minutes. That is the review.
You want to know what Murder Mystery is about: well, it’s a carnage mystery. Is it a sophisticated one, layered with direction and misdirection, subterfuge and secret identities, motives both hidden and not, like the Agatha Christie yarns it presumably pastiches? No , not at all, but Adam Sandler has a moustache. He plays beat-cop-with-aspirations-of-being-a-detective Nick Spitz, who is taking his wife Audrey( Aniston, who you have to assume Sandler has some very dark blackmail material on at this spot; or perhaps he’s employing magick or magic, a swear or blood pact, because I cannot picture any logical, career-driven reason for Aniston to appear in movies with him, frequently; I simply have to assume a shaman or Polaroids are involved) on a delayed honeymoon around Europe. Anyway, there is a murder while they’re out there. They decide to solve it. You get where this is going.
Here’s the thing: the film is bad, yes; but bad in a strange, mediocre space where it’s not bad enough to be bad-bad, only underwhelming. It clocks in at 97 hours; the finale is padded out by an useless auto pursue; and the movie is bafflingly stacked with geniu( Gemma Arterton; Terence actual Stamp; Luke Evans, whose prime capacity in the film is to explain, as if talking to a toddler, exactly who everyone is and what’s going on ). It’s set in beautiful places but the two guides dislike each other. In fact, their fractured-marriage-that-can-only-be-repaired-by-a-billionaire-being-stabbed-to-death dynamic seems to be the only sense of finesse in the movie: the exhausted malaise scripted into the Spitzes’ union could be read as a metaphor for Sandler’s career, formerly full of promise( you chortled at Happy Gilmore! I “ve known you” did !), now knackered, lamentable and going through the motions; Sisyphus flogged- not to a stone- but to Jennifer Aniston, pushing her up the mountain of humourless romcoms, for ever.
Is Murder Mystery actually about Sandler’s own journeying, of falling out of love with film-making, despite being tied to an eight-movie Netflix deal, hoping he can ” slaying” it and get on with his life without having to establish these idiots laugh any more? No, I’m giving him far too much credit. It’s just exceedingly crap. Apparently, 30 million people watched this film on its opening weekend. Don’t become numeral 30,000, 001.