YouTube group, Derrick Comedy have garnered over 190,000 subscribers and have in excess of 109 million views for their online sketch-based comedy webisodes. In the spring of 2008 they independently produced feature length film, Mystery Team.
The film stars the group’s three actors; Donald Glover, best known as Troy in Community, DC Peirson and Dominic Dierkes. The trio form the mystery team, a cheap, childish encyclopaedia-brown style detective gang. The gang embark on uncovering a serious case in order to be considered genuine detectives, but the film plays out like a poor episode of Scooby Doo – with added strippers.
Each member has their expert trait as Duncan (Perison) provides the brains, whilst also winning the Napoleon Dynamite lookalike contest, Jason (Glover) leads the group and is a “master of disguise” and Charlie (Dierkes) “hilariously” supplies the muscle due to his petit frame. The characters are overacted like a nickelodeon children’s comedy and become an infuriating watch.
The humour isn’t slapstick; it’s silly. The comedy plays on their naivety towards euphemism, profanity and Gentlemen Clubs, but the overt child nature clashes with its R rating and ultimately fails to reach its audience. Whilst the film contains moments to recover; delivering few great lines, such as Duncan, during a conversation with a drug dealer, naively suggesting, “You know, this is really a bad time to buy cocaine. With the market how it is, it’s much safer to rent cocaine.” The exaggerated callow acting claims an overall disappointment for the comical delivery.
The film playfully attempts to reignite a forgotten genre of the innocent yet brave child detective, but its contemporary style fails to have these ‘Hardly Boys’ achieve what once made it so popular.