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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.
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)
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Top Customer Reviews
"The stage is wet and smells like cold cuts!"
"Chocolate milk just taste better than regular milk."
"Dad, mom wants me to go to a party with girls; isn't that gross?"
Add to that canon the hilarious and surprisingly effective Mystery Team.
Brought to you from DerrickComedy, the YouTube sketch troupe headed most famously by Donald Glover (of Community fame), Mystery Team is clearly a labor of love, a group of friends coming together to make a movie for the fun of making movies. And it really shows.
The story follows three former boy detectives who're approaching the end of high school, and are stuck in the stasis of their childhood fame. Just as they're approaching the end of their partnership, they're approached with a big case: A murder. Setting out to solve a grown-up crime using their kid-detective methods provides the film's insane comic premise.
What's most impressive about this film, apart from the hilarious script that's endlessly quotable, is the technical skill that went into making it. I was struck on the third or fourth viewing with the camerawork. It's often very adventurous, and renders colors gorgeously. It's the small but essential things like this, this attention to detail, that makes an already good movie great.
Comedy fans will recognize many familiar faces as well: Aubrey Plaza, Bobby Moynihan, Dotcom (from 30 Rock), Matt Walsh, and several others.
I recommend Mystery Team to anyone who loves the smarter side of absurdist comedy, a genre often marred with comparisons to schlock like Epic Movie and the Happy Gilmore productions. I could watch it a dozen times, and find new things to laugh about every time. It's a great piece of underground comedy lore, one you're almost guaranteed to enjoy if you give it a chance.
The basic premise is that these 7 year old kids formed an Encyclopedia Brown esque team of kid crime solvers and then just never stopped to grow up. They're 18 now and still doing the same thing while avoiding girls, cars, and saying the F word.
When a young girl arrives at their Mystery booth and asks them to find out who killed her parents things get grown up really fast. Plus, the inroduction of the girl's older sister, played by the awesome Aubrey Plaza from Parks & Recreation, seems to jump start the latent puberty vibes in Glover's character Jason.
The whole comedy theme of the movie hinges on seeing man children being thrown into very adult situations like dealing with a foul mouthed pretty teen ne'er do well, following a suspect into a nudie bar, and infiltrating a booze fueled office costume party.
Most of the comedy beats land with some pretty solid laughs, but the man child theme gets a little old after awhile. The likeable cast makes most of the movie work better than it should, though. Maybe in the hands of a more seasoned director this movie could have been really amazing, but it falls a little flat. However, I still feel like it's worth a view for even a couple of the effective laughs . Some of it really is funny.