Hello, Spongey here.
We looked a well known old one, a famous new one, so let’s do a semi-obscure new one. By new, I mean 2008. This wasn’t exactly high on my to review list but…random/org and a coin flip ended up picking this one.
I said last time we’d do a good one. Well, I guess I remember it being good. Besides, it can’t be bad. I mean it’s from the Director of Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3! ..Uh okay, I mean…the writer of When in rome? No…Uh…it has time travel and that guy from Good luck charlie?
Yeah, that’s better.
Don’t have much to introduce. This one was as hype as any non-huge DCOM, and it promptly faded to obscurity. Why? It came out the same year as Camp Rock. Somehow, that took priority.
This, is Minutemen
The movie opens on the first day of high school with Virgil, played by Jason Dolley, Derek, and Stephanie, played by blog repeater actor, Chelesa Kane. You know, the bitch from the bratz movie?
We see them making fun banter and just being semi-normal teens. Derek tries out for the football team while Stephanie tries out for Cheerleading. But then charlie, played by Luke Benward (who would ironically end up on Good luck charlie along with Jason) , rockets onto the Football field on a rocket-propelled car. Something tells me he’s either stupid, or a genius.
Or both, cuz in movie land, you can be both. Virgil then confirms that as he says Charlie skipped a few grades. Derek knocks him off to stop the car. Yes, the coach is okay with him doing this.
Virgil has more common sense and tries to help Charlie out. This gets them hung by the horn of a goat statue. Again, no teacher seems to be around to object.
We cut to three years later, where no one has grown for some reason, and Virgil is best friends with Charlie. OUT OF CONTEXT LINE TIME:
“I am thrilled you talk to your cat”
So Charlie seems to make inventions that work but they are still outcasts. He talks to some nerd friends at lunch, and it seems like the hung by statue thing was what lead him to this point. Again, no teacher objected to this or anything?
So Stephanie has bowed out of their group and is now one of the popular kids. In spite of this, she’s still nice and when she bumps into Virgil, they have a pleasant chat. Later, Charlie pulls Virgil out of class and to his little nerd club to show him something. That something being a possible time machine. Somehow, Virgil doesn’t buy that it’s a time machine. Also, there is this chick named Jeanette who will serve as the “Quirky” chick that Charlie has a crush on. Just thought I’d mention her since she pops up during their time talk.
Virgil agrees to help out the time machine since it’s not like his rep can get any worse. They need a hardware guy to help build it, so they recruit Zeke, the “cool” smart guy. Needless to say, Zeke isn’t the friendliest smart guy in the world but he agrees to do it.
Oh, and remember my comment about the teachers? Well, the Vice Principal (whose actor was a VP on Phill of the future as well) sees a student trapped in the vending machine, and when Virgil brings it up, he still doesn’t do anything about it.
Do any adults act nice in this movie?
Ignoring that, the kids ask him to let them use a room way deep in the basement which they will use to the time machine in. He allows it. Cut time machine building montage!
They build the time machine, and hey, it works! It creates a swirling vortex of terror, which sucks a cat in and it comes back, having traveled one minute into the past. Yes, a cat is the first time traveler.
So yeah, they cracked time travel, but first, let’s see what Stephanie is up to. Later, Virgil bonds with her some more, and oh yeah, I forgot about Derek. He parted ways too and he’s also dating Steph. Steph assures Virgil that Derek is cool and he did try to stop the jocks that day (which is a load of shit of course). But we’ll go back to derek being a dick later.
For now, the kids are gonna try out the time machine for themselves. They go back to the day before and buy the winning lottery ticket. But that backfires, cuz they sneak out of school to do it, but find out they need to be 18, so they ask a dude in the parking lot to buy it for them, but they ask him to hold onto it cuz the gotta go back to school. But later, they find out he cashed it for himself.
Great, they’ve only been through once and they have already fucked up the past. So what will their next test be? Stopping some dick from stealing a nerd’s clothes from his gym locker, of course. Actually, Virgil suggests that they become a savior for the weak, using the time machine.
And they shall call themselves the Minutemen.
“The all important minute in time. Clever, right?”
So later Jeanette shows up at their time machine liar, cuz the boys told the principal this was a place for a Back to the future fanclub. Huh, I thought i’d have to make the BTTF joke,, but great Scott, the movie did it for me!
“I love that movie…even though I never really saw it”
They explain this time machine thing to her, and she gets them some big white snowsuits so that people in the past don’t recognize them. Guess they skipped the skeptic scene. Good call.
They go back and give the nerd some clothes before he ends up getting embarrassed. This works works and they jump back to the present. So are they only gonna go back to times where the time machine existed? So they can’t go back further or they are stuck there forever? That’s a stupid design.
Oh, and after they gave the nerd his clothes, they ran back to the basement, but knocked into the Vice Principal’s diorama thingy. So the next day..or the present day we were just in before they time-oh great it’s already happened…he calls out the “Snowsuit guys”.
So the kids do some more good using the machine, with the help of a montage. The snowsuit guys become famous around town, with the kids adoring them and Asshole principal hating them.
At lunch, Charlie tells them something about the time machine: He had trouble with the machine for years, but was able to get the missing part….from NASA.
“You robbed NASA?!”
DUN DUN DUN!
He took the blueprints from the NASA mainframe, and recently they’ve found themselves being watched. That means they have to lay low and not use the machine for awhile.
But of course Virgil wants to use it for something. Stephanie broke her leg falling of a cheerleader pyramid thingy, He wants to fix that in spite of the whole NASA thing. But since the files were defunct anyway, Virgil thinks it’s okay to use the machine.
They go back, and Virgil is able to save Stephanie. Okay, so that went uneventful, I guess. But Chester, one of the nerds, and his friends let the whole “Nerds have saviors” thing go to their heads, and start harassing people like bullies.
“I will not tolerate students leapfroging to a higher social status!”
Best/Worst principal ever?
And that’s the worst thing: The guy who got the lottery ticket? Sued an old lady. The jumps are starting to make history go bonkers. Ignoring that, Virgil is approached by Stephanie, who figures out he is one of the snowsuit guys. She’s the first person to figure this out? Okay.
She even figured out the time machine thing…when Virgil accidentally tells her. And, we cut to the next scene. Come on, don’t be like camp rock and cut like this! You were actually good!
So the Minutemen go to the school football to see if anyone gets in any danger that they have to fix. And well…Chester runs around in his undies for some reason, distracting Derek from scoring, thus making him lose the game. Huh, I guess we’ll never find out why he did that.
But anyway, another cut later, Derek and Steph are given the skinny by Virgil about the time machine. And now Derek wants to fix what just happened. Virgil isn’t sure, but Derek says he really wants to become friends with him again and this is something a friend does. All friends time travel for other friends, duh.
Charlie doesn’t want to do this though, since time travel is buttfucking them enough. But Virgil convinces him to let them do it, so they head out. We don’t see it this time, but they come back having saved the day. This scores Virgil some cred with Steph and Derek so he heads to a party at his house.
But, he already had plans with charlie, so he ends up abandoning him. Charlie sees Virgil at the party, since Derek’s house happens to be next door. Charlie is not happy. Oh hey this cliché, and is kind of works here.
Virgil apologizes, but then Stephanie calls and tells him that Derek cheated on her. Weird how Derek randomly became a dick after that first day, but whatever. Also, asshole boyfriend cliché.
But before we deal with that, we find out that some government science guys have noticed the disruptions in the universe caused by the time machine. They figure out where it comes from and wants to call in the FBI. DUN DUN DUN!
Derek tries to tell Virgil that he didn’t cheat on Stephanie. He even asks Virgil to back and stop Steph from finding out. He says feels really awful, and he wants to fix it all. Huh, he actually sounds kind of sincere ..weird.
He goes for a walk to think about, but the FBI shows up to take him away. He’s taken away to some place where it turns out Charlie and Zeke got taken to. After a discussion…they are let go.
“We can get more information just by watching them.”
The kids get out, and are now worried. Virgil blames it on Charlie, but hey, Virgil is the one who said they wouldn’t get caught. He used the machine for his own personal gain and look where it got them. Zeke and Charlie agree.
“Good luck at your new life as a popular person”
Ouch. So later, Charlie does science- y stuff and..
“We created a black hole!”
DUN DUN …DUN!
So Charlie and Jeanette run back to the FBI guys to tell them what is going on. Their constant time machine use has created a black hole at the high school, and they 4 hours until…boom.
Though for a black hole that will end the world in 4 hours, it’s sort of small and goes in and out enough for no one kid to notice it at the dance that night. Virgil seems to have gotten over the stress of the losing friend thing since he goes with Stephanie that night.
By the way, the song playing at the dance seems to be Johnny B Goode. Ah, references..Virgil tells Derek that he will prevent the cheating for him, cuz you know, using the machine won’t attract the attention you are trying to avoid.
Anyway, Stephanie and Virgil are announced as the king and queen of the dance. They mingle a bit, and have romance and stuff. Before they can kiss, Derek reminds him of their deal. He pulls him out but after he does, Charlie and the others pop in and tell Stephanie that it’s a bad idea.
Virgil is having second thoughts, cuz now he is in love with Stephanie. Before more can happen, the FBI guy shows up just in time for the big wormhole to fully open up.
So now they have to go inside the black hole to close it. The FBI guys allow this, as they are familiar with the equipment. So the kids suit up with all the other kids cheering them on. Also Jeanette kisses charlie cuz…?
So the three kids jump in the black hole and are spat out on a playground. Charlie pulls out some tech mumbo jumbo and is able to stabilize the black hole from there. What a climax.
But they have to wait 20 minutes before they can jump back. Through the power of newspaper dating, they find out they went back to the first day of high school. Why? Well, that rocket car was the first ingredient to the tech used for the time machine.
Virgil thinks he can prevent the big accident, which will also stop the time machine from being ad it all, when you think about it.
“What happened down there is we became friends…THis day you hate so much…this is my favorite day.”
Charlie and Zeke always, but Virgil spots Derek suggesting the hole statue thing. So Derek did turn into an asshole for no reason? Cool!
So with that, Virgil joins the other two and they make up. One long rocket driving scene later, they make it back to the vortex and are dumped off at the day they first time traveled.
Makes sense that it would take them to the moment time got fucked up, but now they have to repeated 2 months of their lives, which will lead to serious aging issues. I guess it got rid of the past versions of the three as well..like all the other times they went back.
Time travel is weird.
They bump into Derek and Virgil tells him to fuck off. Then he talks to Stephanie and admits her leave for her. She returns his feelings and it’s all very cute.
And as the rules of nerd science go, Charlie suggests the next big thing, teleportation only to be comically dragged away by Virgil and Zeke.
Two weeks later, Charlie clones himself. They don’t really react, so much as make jokes then put both charlies in the vending machine.
“But what about the team? Minutemen ride again!”
A sequel which will never happen. ROLL CREDITS!
This one was pretty enjoyable. Sure, the pacing is all over the place at points and a lot of things just make no sense. But it’s so much fun, that I can forgive it.
I skipped over plenty of funny moments, that prove the movie has a sense of humor about it’s self. The characters are fairly likable, with Virgil going through decent development, and Charlie being a fun nerd. Zeke is useless but cool.
The romance isn’t that good, but it’s sweet enough. The time travel plot has it’s unique moments, and they do some very cool things with it. The story has it’s fair share of cliches, but it works pretty well and it ends up being sweet.
The performances are good too, but nothing to really be amazed by. I actually think a sequel wold work very well, but as well.
As far as DCOM’s go, this is an underrated gem. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot of fun, has good time travel, and a decent story. I think Disney should try more sci fi movies like this, instead of things like Let it shine. But whatever, this one attempt is still fairly fun.
Don’t worry, I won’t do a bad one next. No, it’ll be…special.