Sundance 2009 Review: Derrick Comedy's Mystery Team
by Alex Billington
January 18, 2009
Last night's world premiere of Derrick Comedy's Mystery Team was quite an experience. Most people already know who the Derrick Comedy guys are, so seeing them finally take the leap from making YouTube videos to a full-time feature was quite impressive. But nothing can prepare you for this kind of never-before-seen crazy, kooky, and sometimes ridiculous, comedy that Mystery Team boasts. They've pulled it off - they've made a sketch comedy feature film that delivers consistent laughs for an entire 105 minutes. It's a different kind of humor, but it works. It looks like Mystery Team is on its way to becoming a hit.
Mystery Team probably has one of the most ridiculous concepts you'll ever hear. Three high school best friends -- Jason (Donald Glover), the master of disguise, Duncan (D.C. Pierson), the boy genius, and Charlie (Dominic Dierkes), the strongest kid in town -- run a shoddy detective business, solving crimes like who ran over the frog or who stuck their finger in the pie. But when a young girl comes asking them to find out who killed her parents, they jump at the opportunity as a chance to finally prove to the town that they really are legitimate detectives. Unfortunately solving a double murder isn't exactly as easy as they thought.
It seems to me that the Derrick Comedy guys are on their way to becoming the first YouTubers to successfully pull off a big screen transition. Most sketch comedy groups can hardly remain funny for a few minutes, but these guys have gone and made a hilarious film that is sure to go down in internet history. While all three of the leads are great, it's Glover who really shines, making this feel like much more than just a comedy with amateur actors. Additionally, up-and-coming actress Aubrey Plaza adds a perfect dynamic as the leading lady who doubts the Mystery Team's abilities. Just wait until you see how it all goes down.
Watching these three guys make fools of themselves on the big screen truly is an awesome experience second to none. I admire their originality more than anything and will gladly support them, and this film, on their path to success. Mystery Team is not flawless, and does have some pacing issues, but overall it's an excellent comedy that the YouTube generation will embrace with open arms.
Sundance Rating: 7.5 out of 10