22 February 2011

Movies: Mystery Team

3 kids put together a mystery-solving team back when they were 7. As seniors in high school  they are still doing the job, except they really haven't matured much past the age of 7. They still drink chocolate milk, completely miss double entendres, seemingly have no concept of sexual maturity, and still dress like they are 7.
However this time instead of finding lost kittens or solving who stole the milk money, they have a real grown-up murder to solve.

At first I thought the movie was almost too stupid to be funny, but then it began to get funny and I realized that what I initially thought was pure stupidity was actually more a subtle level of comedic absurdity that is tough to accomplish and even tougher to be successful in delivering. IMO they did an admirable job by end of the film.

The 3 main characters, who also happen to be credited as writers of the script, do stay in character throughout the film. They're stereotypes, but there is a little character growth that does happen through the film. I think that little bit of balance made the movie better than sub-par.
Sure it gets over the top, but some of the stuff that happens does end up rather funny, even when things get a little tragic.
Not a flick for children, despite appearances. Too much adult humor in there. And yes they do go visit toilet and sex humor in the film. Luckily it isn't the only source of humor, and as it was in very small doses it fits in the story.

During the first 15 minutes I figured I was gonna hate the film, but once I realized the type of humor at play the film grew on me and by the end I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  Sortof a rough gem.
And, considering the 3 primary actors (and writers) are relatively new to the business - a few short films under their belt - they did surprisingly well overall.  They might have a future in the biz, might be worth keeping an eye out for their future projects.  Well, Donald Glover you can see right now, he plays Troy on NBC's Community.

So yeah, surprisingly good and funny despite my first impression.

(original post 13 Nov 2010)

Addendum 15 Apr 2011:
I watched the film again, just to see how it stacks up to the first viewing after a few months.
This time I knew what level of humor I was in for from the start.  I was able to catch nuances I'd missed during the first viewing, things I missed because my perception had been clouded by my first impression.  

I enjoyed the film the second time through even though I remembered pretty much the whole film.  Which is a good thing, if a film is re-watchable. It was still entertaining, I still laughed at parts, and my overall impression of the film improved.  Yes the film might seem dumb at first, but there really is a slick nuanced smart comedy taking place in this film.  It isn't dumb by accident, and it was more apparent to me on the second viewing.

If you haven't seen the film and are in the mood for a silly comedy - check it out.

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