Mystery Team is the big-screen outing of internet sketch trio Derrick Comedy – Dominic Dierkes, DC Pierson and Donald Glover (who wrote for 30 Rock, starred in Community and makes music as Childish Gambino).
This 2009 comedy follows the Mystery Team – three dorky teenagers who drink chocolate milk and solve neighbourhood crimes for a dime, specialising in “lost kittens, hopscotch disputes and sack lunch fraud.” Until one day, they encounter Parks and Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza and the mystery of who killed her parents (and why she had to demean herself in Dirty Grandpa).
Somewhere between The Hardy Boys and True Detective (both in terms of content and quality), this is a solid debut feature from director Dan Eckman that works as a strong old-school mystery as well as a goofily funny comedy. It’s endearingly lo-fi, playing like a silly version of Rian Johnson’s Brick (and featuring a standout strip club scene, naturally).
It is too long and Glover’s score is a bit much, but the writing, characters and performances make this coming-of-age movie as funny as Derrick Comedy and as sweet as chocolate milk.