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‘Psych: The Movie’ Continues the Story Three Years On
December 7, 2017  | By David Hinckley

You don’t need extrasensory powers to divine what USA’s cult fave Psych will deliver in its resurrection.

Psych: The Movie, a two-hour romp bringing back James Roday’s Shawn Spencer and Dule Hill’s Gus Guster, gives fans another shot of stylized droll comedy intercut with romance, ritual and, oh yeah, a crime caper.

Picking up three years after the popular series ended, the movie starts with Shawn leading a long chase scene straight out of the Keystone Kops.

In his familiar style, he takes pretty much every possible misstep and in the end, has to fast-talk himself out of getting iced by the bad guys.

The chase does bring Gus into the fold, since the guys chasing Shawn will eventually get around to chasing the otherwise uninvolved Gus, too.

The bad-guy story, naturally, only gets part of the show’s attention. Equally critical, Shawn is searching for his grandmother’s missing engagement ring.

Fans will remember that in the final series episode of Psych, he finally proposed to Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson). A moment later, the ring was stolen.

Shawn has been searching ever since, apparently postponing any talk of a marriage date in the process. In those same three years, he has also been preparing for the opening of his and Gus’s latest venture, an antique-ish shop called psychphrancisco.

Gus thinks it’s an awful name. He’s right.

But it’s the hunt for the ring, which in some ways feels like a kind of bizarre Maltese Falcon sendup, that creates a key plot thread in Psych: The Movie. It drives some of the action and some of the straight-faced absurdity.

Roday and Hill step back into their respective shoes without missing a step. Shawn’s hustler rap and Gus’s geek-speak flow as if they had never stopped, and all the touchstones are back, including a running obsession with food.

Kirsten Nelson returns as Jules’s boss Karen Vick, and Corbin Bernsen as Shawn’s Dad, an ex-cop who adheres much more closely than Shawn to the rules of the game.

Kurt Fuller gets a lot of screen time as Woody Strode, the former coroner who had been named chief medical examiner for the state of California. He lost that gig when he left a chili dog inside a cadaver, though he says technically he lost it when he reopened the cadaver to get the chili dog out.

That’s the kind of humor on which Psych always ran, which makes it a bit of an outlier these days on USA, whose new shows have been darker and more driven by action.

As for what happens next, Psych: The Movie resolves a couple of dangling threads from the series. It also leaves us right in the middle of several other dramas, which would seem to serve creator Steve Franks’ plan to eventually make five more Psych movies.

With the whole universe in play, like when Gus and his new geek-girl acquaintance Selene (Jazmyn Simon) argue over whether Pluto deserves to be the ninth planet, finding sufficient material shouldn’t be an issue.

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