Look, say what you want about Adam Sandler, but the fact is that when he puts his mind to it and actually puts effort in, he can be up there with the best.
'The Wedding Singer' is a sweetly gentle rom-com with an engaged Sandler who is trying to win you over. 'Happy Gilmore', meanwhile, took its cue from sports comedy great 'Caddyshack' and put its own twirl on it. 'Punch Drunk Love', with Paul Thomas Anderson, is an overlooked and deeply human story about anger, love and toilet brushes.
Likewise, Jennifer Aniston has proven herself beyond the likes of 'Friends' endless amounts of times over. 'Office Space' is a cult comedy classic. 'Horrible Bosses' was weird, funny and darker than you'd expect. 'Dumplin', another Netflix movie, was a smart and knowing comedy-drama about mothers and daughters.
In short, both of these actors are capable - more than capable, in fact - of being better than this. That 'Murder Mystery' is beneath both of them shouldn't come as any shock. What happens so often with Adam Sandler's movies is that he clearly doesn't want to work too hard on anything. He'd rather hang out with his friends, make a few jokes on a camera, maybe improvise a line or two, and then head home. Jennifer Aniston, maybe it's the same for her. She's got all that 'Friends' money.
To say that 'Murder Mystery' is a bland and forgettable experience would be doing a disservice to the very dictionary definitions of both words. I watched this movie last night and I can't remember a single scene, joke or line of dialogue from it. I know it was set in Europe, or what Americans think Europe is. Monaco and Monte Carlo, basically. I remember Terence Stamp being in it, and thinking to myself that he was also in 'The Phantom Menace'. I know that there were some French actors in there as well, and a couple of Italian ones as well, presumably.
Sure, you could argue that it's trying to be meta and that it's not supposed to be some high-brow comedy, or even a low-brow one for that matter. It is, after all, a supposed parody of the genre. Yet, at no point in the entire movie did it make you care about what happens next. There was nothing in this that could be construed as anything other than brightly-coloured, politely-made, flat comedy.
It's like 'Murder Mystery' was meant to be played in the background of some other movie, like those fake movies you'd see in real movies. Sure, there's well-known faces and you know they're doing something, but it's all so half-formed and cut together in pieces that by the time you actually try to follow any of it, it just flits away and becomes another wasted 90-odd minutes of your time.