They were kid detectives. Now they’re eighteen and still solving child crimes. But when the Mystery Team is challenged to solve a murder, they see an opportunity to prove they’re real detectives – and to save the world of sex, crime and swear words. From Derrick Comedy, the Internet sensation whose short films have been viewed over 100 million times, comes this strangely hilarious, completely unique film that’s been called “’Encyclopedia Brown’ meets NAPOLEON DYNAMITE meets ACE VENTURA” (Cinematical.com).
The Internet sketch comedy troupe Derrick Comedy makes an impressive feature debut with this clever and frequently laugh-out-loud entertainment about a trio of former boy detectives who struggle to maintain their childhood fame while trying to solve a very grownup mystery. Three-fifths of the Derrick Comedy troupe--Donald Glover (Community
), D. C. Pierson, and Dominic Dierkes, who together also wrote the film's script--play the Mystery Team, who once gained notoriety as preadolescent problem solvers (on the level of lost kittens and the like); now, as socially awkward teens, they stubbornly refuse to stop solving "mysteries," much to the chagrin of their parents and the community at large. But when a young girl hires them--at their standard rate of 10 cents--to discover her father's killer, the Mystery Team finds that real crime is a lot ickier than investigating the theft of a neighbor's pie. The freshness of the film's central concept, which spoofs kidhood sleuths like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, is mined for all it's worth, and the clash between the deeply naive boys and the real world, with its gun-toting preteens and raunch, produces some genuinely hilarious moments. The premise doesn't hold up for the entire film's running time, and some of the gross-out gags seem unnecessary, but as a first film and introduction to Derrick Comedy for many viewers, Mystery Team
feels assured and charmingly cracked. The DVD includes an amusing commentary track by all five Derrick Comedy members, who include director Dan Eckman and producer Meggie McFadden; fans of the group's Internet shorts will appreciate the details behind their leap to features, and newcomers will enjoy this extended opportunity to hear their creative collaboration at work. The deleted and extended scenes are actually as funny as what appears in the completed film (a rarity), as is the making-of featurette, which eschews the usual behind-the-scenes chitchat in favor of full-bore goofing around. Shot-on-video test footage of the opening scene and an interview with Glover in character round out the extras. --Paul Gaita
Stills from Mystery Team (Click for larger image)