Mystery Team

Remember last week, when I was talking about the appeal of low-brow comedies and how the really good ones can transcend their limited (or no) budget approaches?

“Mystery Team” does not fall in to that category.

I waited almost a full year to see this movie; I first heard about it at their Comic-Con panel last year, and it was sitting in my saved queue ever since then, with me eager and willing to watch more from the talented (and funny) Derrick Comedy group.

Three boys, Jason (Donald Glover), Duncan (D.C. Pierson) and Charlie (Dominic Dierkes), were the neighborhood sleuths, called the Mystery Team, when they were 7, solving little crimes to the delight of parents everywhere. But now, the kids are seniors in high school and they still haven’t given up their crime-fighting ways (or their 7-year-old personas).

They are the jokes of their towns, but when a little girl, Brianna (Daphne Ciccarelle), hires them to solve her parents’ murder, the boys begin to grow up while on their first big case.

Not a bad setup, and while the early parts of the movie have some funny moments, such as their interrogation of a grade-school pie thief, this is also where the trouble starts.

These characters first saw life in a series of skits produced on the Web, and while those really work (and are hilarious), that conceit really drags the movie down. What was funny and delightfully surreal in seven minutes becomes tired and downright irritating over the course of the film.

“Mystery Team” is clearly a labour of love for the folks involved, and I don’t begrudge them success (really, who doesn’t like supporting the little guy), but it’s a shame the final product is not really worth the time they took to make it.

“Mystery Team” (2009)

Written by D.C. Pierson, Donald Glover and Dominic Dierkes

Directed by Dan Eckman   

Starring: Donald Glover (Jason)

D.C. Pierson (Duncan)

Dominic Dierkes (Charlie)