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||IMDB Rating: 6.8/10 from R votes
||Release: 17 January 2009 (USA) /
||Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery
||Director: D.C. Pierson,
||Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Bobby Moynihan, D.C. Pierson, Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, Ellie Kemper, Glenn Kalison, John Lutz, Jon Daly, Kay Cannon, Kevin Brown, Matt Walsh, Peter Saati, Robbie Sublett, Tom Shillue
||Synopsis: Three clueless high school nerds, best friends for years, call themselves the "Mystery Team" and solve neighborhood crimes - such as who poked a finger in a pie cooling on a window ledge - cute at seven but foolish at 18. Then, one morning, a young girl pays them a dime to find out who murdered her parents the night before and took her grandmother's ring. Using inept methods, the team lucks onto the trail of the bad guys. Can they bumble to success and a renewed reputation? And what about coming of age? Written by <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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A fan of DERRICK comedy for many years, I was ecstatic when I found out
they were semi-premiering Mystery Team in Austin, and got tickets.
The experience was fantastic. In addition to seeing the feature film,
DERRICK frontmen DC, Donald, and Dominic were there to open and close
the film and offer a quick Q & A- and the audience was treated to two
never-before-seen new DERRICK shorts (which were, easily, some of their
most-hilarious) as well as a live comedy sketch the trio did on the
subject of their new 'squibbles' social network. (Don't ask, it
ultimately was a big hilarious charade with no point.)
Long-story-short, the entire night was excellent. Hilarious, genuine,
and cleverly-crafted. The film, of course, was the most impressive
aspects- both surprising, (minimally) disappointing, and inspiring in
the way it played out.
Instead of the requisite R-rated vulgar (albeit hilarious) jabs you
might expect from the trailer, the movie flows in a much more
light-hearted, innocent manner- only sprinkled with bits of disgust and
profanity. But it keeps its momentum WITH these bits, and is
all-the-better because of it.
Here we've got, well, The MYSTERY TEAM- three older teenagers who,
unlike the harsh reality the film takes place in, have delusions of
grandeur and childlike obliviousness that both makes them innocent and
immune to some of the outlandish situations they're placed in. The most
vulgar and adult character, then, is the actual CHILD of the whole
movie, an 8-year-old criminal- who swears and totes guns and hangs out
in strip clubs- and the Mystery Team's interaction both with him and
the many degenerates of the movie is really the catalyst and heart of
both the story's intrigue and comedy.
Think of Alan from The Hangover, or Michael Scott from the Office-
characters in that implacable position of both being winningly
R-rated/inappropriate and pathetically juvenile at the same time. These
guys are like that- and the movie moves and succeeds largely on this
This isn't to say the film is technically superb, though. It is, and I
was genuinely surprised. As a filmmaker myself, I was uncertain about
how DERRICK's usually so-so technical qualities in their shorts would
transport to the big screen. But they do so with maximum, artful flair
and professional edge. When I was there, I was amazed at how such a
self-produced movie could look so good, especially when I'm
knowledgeable of just how far and how good such a camera as DERRICK's
can ultimately look. They push their images and equipment to the
limits, though, and the film looks simply pristine.
Riding a line similar to, say, Arrested Development in terms of being
both preposterous and believable, Mystery Team isn't as FUNNY as the
likes of this year's hilarious blockbuster The Hangover (although I've
often heard it is).
No, it isn't FUNNIER, per se, but it's damn near close to AS FUNNY as
The Hangover. But, no, the comparison isn't a justified one. Because
really, Mystery Team succeeds in being an overall BETTER film- laden
with characters you either love to hate or enjoy seeing succeed,
pushing an innocence that makes you smile, and moving through
situations and locations so diverse, profane, and vulgar you can't help
but be intrigued.
Played-out like an actual mystery caper in classic Scooby-Doo fashion,
Mystery Team's ability to mix heavy, outlandish satire with gritty
realism and classical if not slightly overdone narrative flow makes it
a potently winning, highly satisfying picture.
After the movie I got a chance to talk very briefly with the creators,
and all approached my questions and musings with absolute friendliness,
casual respect, and poise that made them fitting actors for such
innocent roles. I may only be 19, but I've seen my share of douchebag
indie filmmakers and these guys- both in their work and presentation-
were anything but. A breath of fresh air I really enjoyed to be a part
of. I hope they go far. Dominic, DC, Donald- if you ever read this:
Bravo and Good Luck, guys.
A solid 8/10, close to a 9. If this plays even REMOTELY close to you,
go see it. It's a genuinely silly and unforgiving pleasure of a movie
you're sure to absolutely love.
Tags for Mystery Team Full Movie
, Bobby Moynihan
, D.C. Pierson
, Dominic Dierkes
, Donald Glover
, Ellie Kemper
, Glenn Kalison
, John Lutz
, Jon Daly
, Kay Cannon
, Kevin Brown
, Matt Walsh
, Peter Saati
, Robbie Sublett
, Tom Shillue
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