I made up my mind before watching Mystery Team — the first full-length feature film from the Derrick Comedy guys, architects behind numerous internet classics like Bro Rape, History of the Drunk Dial, and probably my favorite, the NSFW Spelling Bee sketch — that if I didn’t like the movie, I wasn’t gonna write about it.
I too badly want to see worthy people from the sketch realm (back where I started as a young tyke, on the STREETS) succeed, but I also certainly didn’t want to have to lie and sacrifice the golden integrity I’ve earned through years of scrupulous, ground-breaking bloggery. Is that biased? I guess. But eff you anyway, James Cameron.
Fortunately, to my relief and sincere delight, the movie is really, really funny.
My almost reviewy-type thoughts, after the jump:
The story centers around the Mystery Team, three high-school-aged kids (played by the Derrick guys) who used to run a childrens’ detective agency, but continue to foolishly cling to their detective aspirations well past the age where it’s adorable / not-clueless for them to be doing so. It’s an actual movie with an actual plot, not a collection of sketches, and it’s immensely watchable the whole way through; the characters are enjoyable enough to drive the full-length movie but still cartoony enough not to give false pretense about the movie wanting to be anything other than enjoyable slapstick, and the script steers clear of the alt-comedy “too cool for actual jokes” mentality with tons of unselfconscious physical gags and a bunch of really funny, overly specific/absurd throwaway lines, not unlike 30 Rock (where Donald Glover non-coincidentally wrote for several years).
The film is also loaded with intricate, nostalgia-inducing kid-detective-clichés — giant magnifying glasses, humorously low-stakes crimes, nonsensical swear-word euphemisms, searching for clues by violently scrounging through drawers — as well as a likable supporting cast (including Bobby Moynihan and Aubrey Plaza, among others), and it’s really short, a virtue that’s increasingly overlooked by comedies nowadays.
And no, I still haven’t gotten around to watching Precious. Priorities in order, people. Is the advice my partial-sentence-loving grandpa used to say. Ol’ Partial-Sentence Gramps, we called him. That’s the last line of my review – feel free to pull it for marquee/newspaper purposes, anyone.