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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Jan 31: Mystery Team


Jan 31: Mystery Team

"A group of former Encyclopedia Brown-style child-detectives struggle to solve an adult mystery."

   Mystery Team is a nice little comedy about a group of teenagers who think they have what it takes to solve a murder mystery. Donald Glover stars as Jason, the leader of the group, who is struggling with growing up, love, and not knowing what his place is in the world. He is a man-child, full of innocence and a 1950's "gosh golly" attitude and he finds himself, and his friends, way over their heads when a real crime happens in their neighborhood. It's almost a mix of Napoleon Dynamite, The Brady Bunch, and a who-dun-it crime novel. The whole thing is even filmed with the kind of fuzzy lighting you would only find in an old time-y PG Christmas TV movie, where everything is happy go lucky and nothing bad ever happens. 

Like this, but in color and with MUUUURRDDDEEERRR. 

   The comedy in Mystery Team is very hit and miss. The type of humor is very dead pan and almost satirical but, at times, it gets rather annoying. I feel the film was almost like a good variety show skit that dragged out a little too long. The jokes were not necessarily repetitive or tiresome, but the whole ordeal just chugged along a little too slow towards the end. I know there are a lot people who enjoy everything Derrick Comedy Productions makes (the company behind Mystery Team) but, for the most part, all of their productions have been short YouTube clips. Imagine 90 minutes of auto-tuned news, Chocolate Rain, or kittens. It just would all get old after awhile. 

Never mind! I'd never get tired of you!

   The acting in Mystery Team is pretty good, even with a sub-par plot and execution. Donald Glover is amazing as Jason, and I cannot wait to see more of what he does (see Community). D.C Pierson, the man who plays the "nerd" of the group, grows insanely annoying very quickly. Imagine Napoleon Dynamite, but a bigger asshole and an even worse haircut. Aubrey Plaza, who plays the daughter to the murder victims, is her perfect deadpan self and, for some reason, I find her insanely attractive. 

Deadpan humor is sexxxxxy. 

   Overall, Mystery Team proves to be an enjoyable comedy with a handful of issues that some may or may not ignore. It's refreshing to see a movie made by a bunch of people that just wanted to make a movie, even with a very small budget. The film is fun, to an extent, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend against watching it, but I do warn you, it can get somewhat frustrating. 

Sight: Clearly filmed on a cheap budget, Mystery Team isn't the most beautiful of films. 
Sound: I really don't remember much of the score. 
Skill: Solid acting here and there, the film would be nothing without Donald Glover. 
Script: The script is decent but at too many times it feels dragged out to every inch of it's life. 

Overall: 6.1/10

Best Quote:
Jordy: "When I was fifteen years old, when I got this job, I said to myself, "I am going to work here until the day that I kill myself."

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