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Mystery Team

For those who have never heard of this movie, imagine these characters spending a movie trying to solve a murder. It’s an outstanding premise with some good talent behind it… which is why the movie should be funnier than it actually is.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still some good laughs to be found here. Unfortunately, the humor is dominated by cheap sex and excrement jokes. To be fair, that may simply be due to the premise. After all, the entire movie revolves around the conceit that these are PG-rated young men living in an R-rated world. Still, a bit more variety would have been nice.

My second problem is with the love subplot, which seemed very forced. Again, this may be due to the premise, as it should be obvious that none of these three guys would ever know what to do with a girl, much less how to attract one. Or it could be due to the fact that Donald Glover’s love interest can’t act. Maybe both. Take your pick.

Which brings me to Donald Glover himself. You may recognize him as Troy from Community (and if you don’t, you’d better fix that). His character is my third problem with the movie simply because he gets the best of everything. He gets the love interest, he gets the most screen time and character development and he makes every single one of the decisions and actions that drive the plot forward. The premise dictated that all three of the team members should depend on each other equally, sharing the spotlight as a mini-ensemble. Instead, the brainiac gets to constantly whine about growing up and going to the police while the strongman gets to be absolutely nothing more than a negative IQ. They both leave the master of disguise to do everything.

Still, Glover does an admirable job with what he has and he absolutely makes the time and money worthwhile to any fan of Community. For everyone else, the movie is decent enough and you could certainly do worse. If nothing else, the movie has effort and love for its characters pouring out of every frame and that’s certainly something to be respected. However, if you’re interested in a comedy about three incompetent man-children getting out from over their heads while juvenile hilarity ensues, then I’d recommend watching The Hangover instead.

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