Mystery Team

At age seven, Oakdale’s Mystery Team was a band of kid detectives dedicated to solving child-sized mysteries like who put their finger in the pie or who stole the tricycle. The town loved them for it but now they’re 18 years old and still storming the playground to bust little kids. The town of Oakdale is now sick to death of it. When a little girl sees their sign advertising “Mysteries Solved, Ten Cents,” she asks the gang to find out who killed her parents. The Team embarks on a mystery that takes them deep into a violent conspiracy that sees their lives threatened, their friendship strained and tests their claim to be “real detectives.”

Rating: 6 out of 10

I love independent film. I’m not talking about the French cinema shown to movie snobs in a quaint theaters where people sip cappuccino and snack on crème brûlée. I’m talking about guys who pick up a digital camera, gather some friends to act, and use every penny they have to make a movie.

“Mystery Team” is just such a movie. While it lacks the wit and writing of “Clerks” it does have some very funny moments, and it’s definitely targeted to teenage boys. I’m sure I would have loved this at that age. It stars Donald Glover, DC Pierson, and Dominic Dierkes, who all joined in the writing effort. They are part of the comedy group Derrick Comedy, which found success in making some very funny youtube videos.

This movie isn’t great. They over-act on purpose to add to the innocence of the characters, but I found it old after a while. The story isn’t great, but it’s pretty good. What won me over is the charm of a self-made movie. My film professor in college said independent films often have to be creative because they have very little to work with. Mystery Team is definitely a product of necessity being the mother of invention.


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