GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
May 25th, 2010


DVD Rating: 3/5

This review will cover the DVD of MYSTERY TEAM and its features. To read the full theatrical review, you can read Ronnie's thoughts HERE.

For Jason, Duncan, and Charlie, no case is too hard, and no case is too tough. For comedy fans, the case could be made that skipping out on this film would be a crime. While the film may lack some polish and big budget shine, it makes up for its deficiencies with plenty of heart, much like the Mystery Team themselves.  However, for many people who are spoiled by blockbuster budgets, this film's lack of polish could potentially affect the DVD viewing experience slightly, as both the picture and sound quality are noticeably below average.

But it's not easy to be boy wonders post-puberty, a lesson Jason, Duncan, and Charlie soon realize when they take their neighborhood P.I. skills from pie vandalism to a local double homicide in the first feature film from the young sketch comedy group Derrick Comedy.  As Ronnie pointed out in her theatrical review, one of the nice things about MYSTERY TEAM is how it doesn't really feel like a typical sketch comedy movie, where the scenes are frequently disjointed and lacking in a strong finish.  In fact, one of the most promising things about Derrick Comedy's MYSTERY TEAM is that often times the finishing on their jokes is the best part, with only minimal floundering going on to get there. Something that is almost directly opposite of groups like Broken Lizard and even Whitest Kids, who oftentimes kill plenty of screen time with decent, little laughs, but then leave you unfulfilled with the total package.

Fans of Derrick Comedy or Donald Glover's role in NBC's Community will no doubt find plenty to love in MYSTERY TEAM, as it fits right in with the styles that both have carefully shaped in their brief careers, not to mention all the familiar NBC faces that pop in for bit roles. But the fun doesn't stop when the credits roll, as the MYSTERY TEAM DVD comes with several special features that really add to the experience.

The MYSTERY TEAM special features seem to emphasize how personal this project was from beginning to end.  The audio commentary with all three of the Mystery Teamers, along with co-writer and producer Meggie McFadden and producer/co-writer/director Dan Eckman is much more about what went into making the movie, than providing additional laughs, but for anyone who has an interest in sketch comedy or movie making, it's a fun way to get more info on how to bring the two together, especially when combined with the six-minute Making of Mystery Team featurette, which gives you a look inside of the rehearsals and filming along with some additional interviews.

Another feature that shows the more personal side of MYSTERY TEAM is the Mystery Team Sword Club, which is a list of people who joined the "Sword Club" by seeing MYSTERY TEAM more than once in theaters.  While this isn't of much use to anyone not on the list, it's nice if you are, I'm sure.  Either way, it shows a commitment to the people who helped get Derrick Comedy to where they are today.

If you find yourself wishing for a few more laughs, check out the four minutes of deleted material, along with the short WHO IS WALLY CUMMINGS? which seems a bit like an impromptu scene put together maybe out of on-set boredom, or maybe from a short brainstorming session to provide a small companion piece to throw on the DVD.  As with many DVD special features, you won't find yourself wondering why most of this material wasn't included in the film itself, but both provide enough entertainment for those who like to hang around after a DVD finishes.

Also included is some test footage of the film's first scene, however, unless you're a filmmaker, you may find yourself wondering why you're watching the even lower-budget and less polished test footage when you've already seen the finished product.

All things considered, MYSTERY TEAM is a pleasant surprise, with plenty of laughs to satisfy your hunger for humor.  For anyone familiar with Derrick Comedy, picking up this DVD should be a no-brainer, and for those who are only familiar with Glover via Community, or possibly his recent Comedy Central Presents should waste no time considering whether or not to check it out, as his performance definitely carries the film.

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