Movie Review: “Bad Detectives,” worse movie

There’s a competence that borders on professionalism in some of the settings, camera placement and whatnot in “Bad Detectives,” a murder mystery that started life as “Year of the Detectives.”

That was to be a play on Chinese zodiac year animal labels, which is about as sophisticated and/or clever as this stiff gets.

Miscast and weighed down with amateurish performances, laughably illogical and inept screenplay, a “mystery” only in its publicist’s delusions, this is the surest way to make your life 72 minutes shorter with nothing to show for it.

Freya Tingley and Dralla Aierken play two former friends, granddaughters of LA private eyes who died in a mysterious double tumble off the roof of the building they co-owned and which housed their agency. Two granddad detectives on a roof in the dark.

The script doesn’t find a clever way to interest the granddaughters, Army vet Nic (Tingley) and “office job” Ping Liu (Aierken), in “finding out the truth.” They just are. They had a falling out sometime ago, and they both team up on this “case” and compete every chance they get, as if they were the same tweens they used to be.

Real estate in “hurried foreclosure,” an inscrutable Guanyin statue, a “shadow emperor” running things in the old neighborhood, an “I’m sorry it had to end like this” here, a “Break it and I break you” threat there.

The leads have no chemistry, fail utterly to animate their lines in any way that doesn’t like like a “bot,” play dress-up once and are still slightly less embarrassing than some (not all) of the supporting cast.

This wasn’t worth releasing, but here it is.

MPA Rating: unrated, violence, profanity

Cast: Freya Tingley, Dralla Aierken, Stephen A. Chang, Jim Meskimen, Ping Wu and Paul Rae

Credits: Directed by Presley Paras, script by Chris Johnson. A Mutiny release.

Running time: 1:12

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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