Writer: Jonathan Sullivan
Originally Posted on
Movie Mobsters
Picture
Starring: Donald Glover, D.C. Pierson, Dominic Dierkes, Aubrey Plaza
Writers:
D.C. Pierson/Donald Glover/Dominick Dierkes
Director:
Dan Eckman

Missing cat? Someone sticking fingers in your pies? Whenever a case needs to be solved, the Mystery Team is there to help. Comprised of Jason, the Master of Disguise (Donald Glover), Duncan the Boy Genius (D.C. Pierson), and Charlie (Dominic Dierkes) the Muscle, the Mystery Team for the price of a dime will get to the bottom of any mystery guaranteed…and when they were eight, it was absolutely the cutest thing in the world. Unfortunately, 10 years later, they are still at it, and it’s stopped being cute. Jason, Duncan, and Charlie are still dressing and acting like children, and operating a homemade detective agency stand (a la Lucy’s therapy stand in the old Peanuts strips) outside of Jason’s house, refusing to do what normal high school kids want to do: grow up. One day, a little girl named Brianna (Daphne Ciccarelle) comes to them with a case for them to solve: to find the person who murdered her parents. Initially hesitant,  the Mystery Team (and Jason in particular) decide to take the case in an effort to finally be taken seriously as a detective agency. However, murder is just a tad more difficult to solve than finding a lost cat, and the Mystery Team must use all of their tricks to find out who did it…and avoid dying themselves.

Mystery Team is the brainchild of the popular internet sketch comedy group Derrick. Being as I don’t normally watch internet sketch comedy, it took me awhile to catch up and finally give it a shot. What I found was very…well, hit or miss. Three sketches (one of them involving the Mystery Team) were funny, but the rest left a little to be desired. Still, the trailer for this was promising and I gave it a shot. Not only do I not regret it, but Mystery Team is one of the funnier movies I have seen in a long time.

Make no mistake about it; although Derrick started on the internet, these are professionals and they have the comedic timing of professionals. Glover, Pierson, and Dierkes commit themselves fully to their characters, and even though the premise is absurd–I know people are afraid of growing up, but they don’t stoop this far–they never waver or stray. They dress, talk, and act like eight year olds, naive to the world around them, and it results in some wonderfully hilarious scenes (the whole entire part at the strip club had me gasping for breath).

Glover, in particular, really shines here. With a big role on an NBC sitcom (he plays Troy on Community) and a Comedy Central special under his belt, he is the one poised for superstardom and it’s easy to see why. He has the most charisma of the three, and his character of Jason is both the funniest and most depressing. Since his role in the Mystery Team is to be the “master of disguise”, it allows Glover to done all sorts of ridiculous costumes and characters (a lumberjack to get into a lumber yard, a rail riding early 20th century hobo to get close to a homeless junkie). These are the funniest moments in Mystery Team, as the naivete of the three guys and their view on the world bleeds through here. They don’t find dressing up as a stereotypical Mexican (complete with oversized sombrero) to get into a building as a plumber is dumb; that’s what their limited minds believe.

It would have been easy for Mystery Team to fail, but its originality and the strength of its cast keep it afloat. Aubrey Plaza, who plays Brianna’s older sister/Jason’s love interest Kelly, shows up to both bring the funny and to snap Jason out of his self-induced “child” mindset (not to mention she is SMOKING HOT). Matt Walsh cameos and has some great lines, and SNL cast member Bobby Moynihan steals the show every time as the Mystery Team’s “informant” Jordy.

I’m trying to think up some complaints or some negative aspects, but I can’t seem to find any. Mystery Team is not a perfect movie or anything, but it’s funny and original, which is a rare commodity nowadays. Unfortunately, it’s also something that cannot be done justice in a write up, so below you will find the trailer, and hopefully, that will entice you to see this. It’s worth it.

Final Verdict:
A

 


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