Friday, March 18, 2011

Netflix Special: The Mystery Team

The Mystery Team

I'm struggling with how I felt about this one.  At times I found it legitimately funny.  Conceptually, it's really sort of clever, but in execution it falls a little flat at times.  It's uneven but what comedy isn't these days.  Most comedies, even the ones I find funny, are only funny for the first forty five minutes.  Then they collapse because the foundation for an actual story hasn't been built.  They basically present their concept and hope we will hang on for the rest of the supposed ride.  I think that's what made The Hangover so popular (I didn't find it funny, really, like at all).  The beginning of the movie, where most comedies try to pack in all their jokes for some reason, is really very short.  It's pretty much just the part where they wake up and the rest of the movie takes off from there.  It's a better formula, I just didn't find the jokes all that great.
The Mystery Team, however, follows the former formula.  The beginning of the movie shows the heroes solving little kid mysteries despite being seniors in high school.  They all wear little kid clothes and have child like minds which actually required a bit of suspension of disbelief.  There are some funny bits in there.  I laughed out loud more than a few times even though I was watching it by myself.  Lauren was technically in the room, she just wasn't paying attention.  Once the prime mystery begins, an actual adult murder mystery, it slips a little, well enough that I read part of a book during the second half of the movie.  But it doesn't completely fall apart.
Thinking about it the next day, I kind of like the movie.  The lead character played by Donald Glover of Community fame, is by far the funniest part.  He plays a master of disguise that pretty much cracked me up with every disguise.  The other two mystery teamers were boring and a little flat.  It would've been a hilarious movie if it had just lasted half an hour.  Or possibly a TV series.  Or something more like this.  I really applaud these guys for putting something together that's conceptually funny which is a serious lost art in American comedy.  Think about the last few comedies you saw or went to see in the theater.  Say the concept out loud.  Like this:  A couple of guys get a week off from being married but they're bad at it.  Is that funny?  No it isn't, and fuck you again, Hall Pass.  If you have Netflix, it's worth a stream.  Besides if you don't like it, just turn it off and watch a documentary about Fortune Cookies or some dumb shit.

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