Film Reviews Cat

The Kid Detective (2020)

7.0/10

Abe Applebaum used to be a successful detective when he was a kid. However, he never managed to solve the disappearance of Grace. Years have passed and Abe is now a gown man who is still living with the thoughts of the unresolved case. Suddenly, one day a young women comes to his office and asks him to solve a murder case. 

“The Kid Detective” is a comedy, drama, mystery movie which tries to find a balance between all these three genres. The comedy is very funny, the drama is indeed really dramatic, and this movie has all the elements of a good mystery. So yes, it is really balanced in that respect. However, you have to keep in mind that most of the scenes really feel like a parody because the entire setup is that of a comedy noir detective. And this is actually great because it shows us that you can take this ‘Old Hollywood’ detective genre and make it relevant again in 2021. Therefore, if you are looking for a non parody noir detective, or a serious movie then this is not for you. Moreover, I would describe “The Kid Detective” as a young adults movie which would be nice to watch prior to Halloween. It is light, but at times really intense. Again, there is this perfect balance between all three genres. And the plot is really solid and unpredictable which is necessary if you create any sort of a mystery storyline. 

However, there is one normative aspect about the plot which I think should be discussed. I won’t spoil anything, but I would like to start off with saying that a movie should, generally speaking, not be limited by norms and values of any kind. I am talking about situations, and topics within reasonable boundaries and nothing extreme. I guess that the word “extreme” is in itself complicated, but let’s say social boundaries (within Hollywood). The normative question I asked myself was the following; is it acceptable to create a parody around this entire unresolved case and storyline of Grace? Can we create a parody around a serious dark topic? And if so, how far can we go? There are no definitive answers to such questions but I am still asking myself today if I could watch this film again now that I know the ending. But isn’t this what makes this movie so great? Maybe…Maybe it’s difficult to admit that these extremely difficult topics mix so well with this kind of comedy. It probably would be too depressing to watch it without the comedic elements. Or maybe not. It could have been rewritten into something else.  

There are probably two movies within this one movie. It could have been written as one good mystery/drama, and a second unrelated movie could have covered the comedy/mystery aspects. However, it works pretty well as it currently is. The acting is also very appropriate and good. I would even go as far as to say that this was an all immersive experience. However, in the beginning I was not sure what the target audience was because it felt very much like a teen movie. Later this changed and that might be the strength of “The Kid Detective”. Moreover, this movie is never what you think it is, and that is why it is very original. I can keep coming back to the normative aspect of this film, but that is not relevant in the end because what counts the most is the overall movie experience.

To conclude, I would like to say that this movie is not for everyone because there are some intense topics which are really raw. But if you like to watch something original, and funny then you will really enjoy “The Kid Detective” because it is so well written, and directed. Maybe I will upgrade it to a 7.5 in the future. But for now I will give it a very solid 7.0/10.      

Director: Evan Morgan. Writer: Evan Morgan.

Cast:
Kaitlyn Chalmers-RizzatoGracie Gulliver
Adam BrodyAbe Applebaum
Kaleb HornCorey
Wendy CrewsonMrs. Applebaum
Jonathan WhittakerMr. Applebaum
Brent SkagfordBarkeep
Steve GagneRory Beans
Giovanna MooreBarmaid
Jesse Noah GrumanYoung Abe

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