The Kid Detective ★★★★½

The people in this town used to look up to me. Even the adults. I was so far ahead of the game and... one day I just woke up behind.

2020 Ranked:

Goddamnit, this was great. The Kid Detective is one of those rare movies that knows exactly what it wants to be. Even more rare, it executes on what it wants to be so well that it actually becomes what it desired. It is a brilliant amalgamation of mystery, thriller, and comedy. 

Adam Brody is low-key becoming one of my favorite underrated actors. He just continues to give great performances. Here, he excels as the disillusioned child star. He is running a risk of being typecast, as this performance is very similar to what he did in Ready or Not, but I don’t even care. He’s so great here, you will enjoy watching everything he is doing.

And I mean, this film is smart. The plot is intriguing. And even in the traditional fashion of classic noir it will have you guessing along the way as to what really took place. It’s subversive in it’s treatment of the material against your expectations from this genre. The comedy is sharp, and cutting. Dry, and dark. The payoff for some of these jokes are so lovingly crafted that I found myself laughing while simultaneously being impressed with how intelligent  this film is.

The Kid Detective even manages to weave deeper themes that I wouldn’t expect from this type of film. What it means to be a child prodigy. The almost insurmountable amount of expectations we put on them, and how unfair it is; how too far down they can fall as they grow older and can’t meet those lofty goals. What it means to grow up, grow old, and move on. When you should actually move on from being a child, to be an adult. And what it means to look down at the next generation and feel like you failed them. For all the love you may have for them, how much you don’t really know them. How difficult it is to help them grow when you’ve lost sight of the reality that they now live in, versus the one that you imagine them to be a part of.

I could sing the praises of this movie for a long time. No, it won’t be an awards contender by any stretch. But this is one of the more genuinely fresh enjoyable new films I’ve seen in quite a while. Highly recommend, and I can’t wait to go back to it.

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