In a movie landscape full of reboots, remakes, long-delayed sequels, and ever-expanding interconnected-cinematic universes, it's more and more difficult to find a film with a premise wholly unique and intriguing. When you do find them, though, it's wonderful.
Enter: The Kid Detective. Starring Adam Brody as the eponymous former childhood sleuth Abe Applebaum, The Kid Detective charts his journey to redemption through his first "real grown-up" case: the murder of a high school girl's boyfriend.
Of course, nothing is as simple as it seems and soon Abe finds himself at the intersection of the downfall of his glory days and trying to genuinely solve a crime. All the while, Abe is underpinned by a dramatic existential ennui that permeates every fibre of his being.
What makes The Kid Detective actually fun to watch is the dark and sharp sense of humour at its heart. It was this very thing that drew Brody to the project.
Brody told Digital Spy: "I just saw the vibrancy, the intelligence, the dark sense of humour, really, in Evan's [Morgan] writing. I saw the script when only the first 30 pages were written. I didn't know where it was going to go."
There's a slightly surreal edge to The Kid Detective, but not so much that it's jarring or pushes you out of the narrative. It both plays into and pokes fun at tropes often found in 'kid detective' shows.
Despite Abe's total lack of having his shit together, The Kid Detective doesn't punch down at him, nor make him the butt of the joke. Instead, it's a genuine exploration of what a combination of guilt and trauma does to a child, especially when left untreated and unexamined.
Abe's self-destruction doesn't come off as self-indulgent, either; even if he's a bit dishevelled, he is trying his best. And that's all most of us are doing, which is what makes him so wholly relatable even if the actual framework of who he is and what he does is completely absurd.
With anyone else in the lead role, it's hard to imagine Abe being anything other than whining and annoying. But Brody brings a gravitas to the role that proves he's an actor capable of much depth and nuance.
The Kid Detective is a film that manages to hold your attention throughout its entire runtime, a feat these days, and keep you guessing. It is a whodunnit after all, of the ilk of Knives Out, where the whole story — beyond the 'whodunnit' question — is entertaining, engaging, and just plain fun to watch.
How to watch The Kid Detective online
If our unadulterated raving hasn't convinced you that The Kid Detective is worth watching, we don't know what will.
You can watch The Kid Detective right now by renting it for £4.49 or buying it for £9.99 on Amazon Prime Video, as well as renting it for £4.99 or buying it for £9.99 on iTunes, among other digital retailers.
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