Pros: Some good jokes; cast of good actors Cons: Most of the jokes are of very low quality; the script is predictable to the point of gnashing of teeth; Sandler and Aniston overact unimaginably, but, apparently, this is what the director of Murder Mystery / “Murder Mystery” demanded.
Genre Comedy, Detective
Directed by Kyle Newacheck
Starring: Adam Sandler (Nick Spitz), Jennifer Aniston (Audrey Spitz), Luke Evans (Charles Cavendish), Gemma Arterton (Grace Ballard), Terence Stamp (Malcolm Quince), etc.
Studio Happy Madison Productions, Netflix
Year of release 2019
More precisely, in the first three days the film was at least 70% watched from 30,869,863 accounts. The number of viewers is at least 1.5-2 times higher, given that many Netflix accounts involve the use of multiple screens, plus shared viewing is common, including on a TV screen. But even if we take the number of viewers at 30 million, then if the film was shown in cinemas, it would have grossed more than $300 million on the first weekend! Sorry, but this is already Avengers: Endgame level. Another thing is that few people will go to the cinema to see a comedy with Sandler and Aniston; this is exactly the stupid film that you can watch at home, with dinner or beer with friends. Without straining, skipping entire episodes, but without losing anything. Film for background.
Nick Spitz is a failed New York cop who barely passed his shooting test during graduation and then failed his detective exam three times 15 years later. However, he lies to his wife, saying that he has been promoted. Audrey Spitz works in a hairdressing salon, loves reading detective stories, and has been waiting for 15 years for her husband to take her on the promised honeymoon to Europe. Backed to the wall, Nick agrees to travel, but what happens is that a couple of ordinary American citizens end up on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean and find themselves witnessing a murder. Moreover, suspicion falls on them. Nick and Audrey must use all their talents to survive and catch the real criminal.
From this plot it is easy to make both a psychological thriller and a noir detective story, but no, the authors of Murder Mystery chose the comedy genre; moreover, the film is a direct and rather clumsy parody of Agatha Christie’s detective stories.
In general, the picture has a rather difficult fate. Work on the film began back in 2012; Charlize Theron was to star in it, and the director’s chair was planned to be given to John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, which won seven Oscars; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Miss Sloane). After the announcement, Walt Disney Studios became interested in the film, which planned to invite Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September, Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland) as a director. The cast appears to include Colin Firth, Emily Blunt and Adam Sandler. But it didn’t work out here either. In 2013, Anne Fletcher (Step Up, 27 Dresses, The Proposal) took over the film for the notorious The Weinstein Company, and Charlize Theron became an executive producer. However, problems with Harvey Weinstein’s company did not help the work on the film. In March 2018, The Weinstein Company was declared bankrupt.
As a result of all these upheavals, the film ended up with Netflix, and Kyle Newacheck, best known for the Comedy Central show Workaholics, in which he also starred, was appointed director of the film. An impressive team of stars has joined the cast: Jennifer Aniston (Friends, Bruce Almighty, Marley & Me), Luke Evans (The Three Musketeers, The Alienist, Beauty and the Beast), Gemma Arterton (Vita & Virginia, The Girl with All the Gifts ) and Terence Stamp (Billy Budd, The Collector, Song for Marion). Not bad for a comedy on Netflix.
Actually, as a film, Murder Mystery is a wacky sitcom in which caricatured New York townsfolk encounter the equally caricatured and ridiculous world of the European rich. Ordinary people regularly get into trouble and do not the smartest things, but in the end they emerge victorious and expose the criminals in the style of Hercule Poirot. All the actors overact unimaginably, especially the leading actors, but it seems that this is the director’s intention here.
If you like low-key jokes and Adam Sandler films, you can devote an hour and a half of your time to Murder Mystery, but you shouldn’t expect much. And yes, it is better to watch the film in the original language; the Russian translation leaves much to be desired.
Interestingly, Netflix signed a four-film deal with Sandler back in 2015, and in 2017 it was renewed for four more films. Considering Murder Mystery’s record, we can expect even more comedies with Sandler. Remember, Netflix films what you watch.
A completely stupid comedy that nevertheless set an incredible record for views on Netflix