Movie Review: Psych: The Movie (2017)

Synopsis: Three years after leaving Santa Barbara and following his fiancee, Juliet, to San Francisco, fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer is struggling to find the same success he previously had. On top of it, his relationship with Juliet seems to be on the rocks because his grandmother's wedding ring was stolen and he refuses to marry her until he finds it.

When Juliet's new partner is gunned down in his apartment, Shawn forces his way into the investigation and learns someone from his fiancee's past is seeking revenge.

Who's in it? The movie stars James Roday, Dule Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bersen and Kurt Fuller.

Review: When I heard they were going to air a movie based on the television show Psych, I was almost giddy (and that doesn't happen very often). That show, along with the show Monk, was on my must-watch list and I didn't miss an episode. In fact, I was very disappointed when it was no longer on Netflix and I couldn't watch re-runs whenever I wanted to.

However, after the initial excitement of the news wore off, I did find myself having some doubts about the film. And, after watching the movie last night, I was disappointed to learn my doubts were well-founded.

While I consider myself a "Psycho," I am the first to admit the last couple of seasons of the show didn't quite measure up to the previous years. In fact, the final episode probably came a year or two too late. By the end of the series, just about anyone of importance knew Shawn (Roday) was a fake. And, those who officially didn't know likely suspected it but were just choosing not to question him. As a result of that, the show did lose some of its charm and, unfortunately, this movie (much like the last couple seasons of the series) was a shell of what it could have been.

The biggest problem with movies like this, especially when they take place years after a show ends its run on TV, is it is hard to give them any sort of momentum. As is often the case, this film spent a good chunk of the first half re-introducing us to the characters and trying to prove to the viewer the chemistry between Shawn and Gus (Hill) was still there. Because of that, the murder mystery and the overall plot seemed awfully weak.

Granted, there were still some funny moments. One of my favorites was when Shawn and Gus were dealing with a guard dog inside an abandoned mental hospital. But, the case they were investigating continually took second fiddle to the character re-introduction and, in my opinion at least, never became interesting enough to remind me why I enjoyed this show in the first place.

In fact, Shawn really doesn't use his gifts all that much. He is able to figure out who one of the accomplices is but, ultimately, has to wait around like everyone else as the main boss is revealed.

Personally, I think the movie should have taken a completely different approach and, instead of having someone targeting Juliet (Lawson), it should have had someone targeting Shawn and trying to publicly expose him as a fake (either as revenge or to get a murder conviction overturned). That would have been much more interesting than a revenge scheme that involved killing a minor, newly-introduced character and then making no real attempt on Juliet's life until the very end.

One positive thing I will say about this movie is I did like how the writers managed to find a way to give the ailing Timothy Omundson a cameo appearance and still listed him as one of the stars despite only have a couple minutes of screen time. This movie really missed his Carlton Lassiter character and I can only hope his health improves so he can have more of a role if/when they decide to make another Psych movie.

Final Opinion: I loved the show and, because of that, loved the concept of a Psych movie. Unfortunately, the actual film really didn't live up to my expectations and only succeeded in making me miss the early seasons of the series, when it was at its best.

My Grade: C


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