By Erik Davis (reprint from 2009 Sundance Film Festival) The film opens this weekend in Austin, Texas, and should it "expand" in October (like we've heard it will), then we'll probably reprint the review again! We liked the flick just that much.
It's Encyclopedia Brown meets Napoleon Dynamite with a pinch of Ace Ventura ... and it's hilarious.
The Derrick Comedy troupe arrived at Sundance with a snot full of sketch videos and a massive internet fanbase. Sure, these were a group of kids from NYU who struck a cord with the YouTube audience and never looked back -- but a series of short online comedy bits and random late night improv are one thing; opening a feature film at the Sundance Film Festival is a completely different ballgame. Thankfully, with Mystery Team, these boys hit one way out of the ballpark, producing not only the funniest comedy I've seen at the fest so far, but one that definitely has the potential to stand toe-to-toe with the finer comedies of 2008 and the most hyped of 2009.
Inspired by Encyclopedia Brown, the Mystery Team are comprised of three kid detectives who run around with big magnifying glasses and several cheap, cliched disguises solving neighborhood whodunits, like who stuck their fingers in Mrs. What's-Her-Name's freshly-baked pie. Only problem is they're 18-year-old high school virgins who should've grown out of this detective phase back when they were seven. The entire community laughs at them, except for Jordy, the half-brain-dead doofus (aka the Mystery Team's "inside informant") who works at the 24-hour hole in the wall. However, when a tiny neighborhood girl asks the Mystery Team to find out who killed her parents, the guys that spend their days solving lame schoolyard pranks are forced to take their game up one giant, life-threatening notch.