Debunkers, Inc. (2019) Review

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Debunkers, Inc. is billed as “Stranger Things meets Scooby-Doo in a High-School Murder Mystery.” While that’s an accurate statement, it’s closer to Scooby-Doo than it is to Stranger Things.

Film Synopsis… IMDb.com

The Debunkers are a band of amateur detectives, who will do anything to become heroes (and make a buck while they’re at it). The hero’s code names are Link, Snake and Dr. Mario— named after their favorite video game characters.

Link, the CEO and leader, is more interested in the look of the business, rather than doing business. Doc, the CIO (Chief Investigative Officer) is Link’s honorable, trustworthy friend who is happy to bring along a new friend, Sheik (the intern, a Canadian foreign exchange girl), to join the group… and then there’s Snake (the Vice President of Clandestine Maneuvers, and Secretary), the mysterious wild-card who thinks he’s really a ninja and life is a series of video-game levels. Together these are the Debunkers, the self-proclaimed “premiere Mystery Debunking business in the state of California.”

These boys are willing to fake it till they make it, and so far they’ve solved only a handful of petty mysteries, but they’re about to get the assignment of a lifetime. During their first day of senior year of high school, two desperate girls, Heather and Joyce, call upon their help to solve the mystery of the murder of their friend, Nina Galanosa. The Debunkers, eager as ever to prove themselves, quickly agree, but soon begin to deal with expectations of reality.

Cast Members…

The film stars Josh Pinkowski, Izzy Pollak, Blake Kevin Dwyer, Nicole DuBois, Joe Paulson, Eilise Guilfoyle, Cayla Green, Theresa Layne, John Montali, Suzana Norberg, Lauren Froderman, Joe Filippone, Shaun T. Evans and Ryan Andrews.

Is there a Trailer?

Let’s rip the bandage off so that there’s no real pain. Sheik / Vicky Lundin (Nicole DuBois), at Dr Saginov (Ryan Andrews) insistence, goes undercover as Lexie Baker to Debunkers, L.L.C. so that she can determine whether the team has what it takes to join the company.

Vicky plays it really cool as Lexie. With  Link (Josh Pinkowski), Doc (Blake Kevin Dwyer) and Snake (Izzy Pollak) completely fooled by her cover story, Vicky plays the guys like a cheap violin.

The Scooby Gang?

Link, drunk on power, obsesses over his place in the company. He doesn’t like to relinquish authority to do anything to anyone else within the company. Everything must go through him first. Link’s need to control every aspect of the company becomes immediately evident when Doc introduces Lexie to the team as their intern. Link also talks about himself, Doc and Snake in overly grandiose terms.

Doc is more concerned with developing a client base and improving their investigation skills than he is with marketing. While marketing is important, you must have something worth marketing before you can start spending money on such things as billboards.

Snake is just weird. If this were the Scooby Gang, not that I am seeing it is, Snake would most likely be Shaggy. Does he really think he has mind control powers?

Heather (Eilise Guilfoyle) and Joyce (Cayla Green), apparently with nowhere but the Debunkers to turn to for help, look to Link, Doc, Snake and Lexie to solve the mystery of the murder of their friend, Nina Galanosa (Lauren Froderman). Eager to prove the strength of their investigative skills, the Debunkers are only too happy to take the case.

Link references himself as being the CEO, Doc is the CIO (Chief Investigative Officer) and Snake is the Vice President of Clandestine Maneuvers, and Secretary. The self-proclaimed “premiere Mystery Debunking business in the state of California,” Link, Doc and Snake constitute the original Debunkers. With the addition of Lexie, that makes four. Which one of the Scooby Gang is Vicky? Daphne or Velma?

Shades of Psych and Mission Impossible

As Snake talks the team through his plan, one can imagine Shawn Spencer (James Roday) doing pretty much the same thing in any given episode of the USA Network’s television dramedy Psych. There are also screwball shades of Mission: Impossible embedded into the action scenes.

Except for the teenage pranks played upon the Debunkers by high school seniors, little do they realise what is really happening essentially boils down to shadows, smoke and mirrors.

While Debunkers, Inc is fairly good for an introductory film for the characters, if there is a second instalment, significant work must be done on the characters to make them more believable.

Debunkers, Inc. will be released on Sep 3 on Amazon, Vudu, iTunes and GooglePlay.

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Debunkers, Inc. (2019) Review
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Shain E. Thomas
With a BSc focusing on geography, history and political science and an MSc revolving around communication studies, history and journalism, I’m a freelance Journalist and social historian.