Carl the Critic: Reviews "Unaccompanied Minors" ( A Christmas Movie So Bad... It's Still a Bad Movie)

"Unaccompanied Minors" Movie Poster

This poster is a bit misleading, because 5 kids are actually snow bound in an airport, while one kid is in a hotel room.
This poster is a bit misleading, because 5 kids are actually snowbound in an airport, while one kid is in a hotel room.

"Unaccompanied Minors" Movie Trailers

Experience/Expectations

Women who read my reviews are probably familiar with a recent film called "Bridesmaids". This is a movie that I would recommend to people who enjoyed "Bad Teacher" because both films have a similar sense of humor, and both of the films directors are good buddies. "Bridesmaids" was directed by Paul Feig, a man who legend has it used money he won from a game of Jeopardy to finance a film. He was also one of many responsible for my all time favorite television show "Freaks and Geeks", and one of my least favorite movies "Unaccompanied Minors". I'll admit the premise sounded like something I'd watch, but like another kid friendly film called "Blank Check" despite a unique premise, the movie uses every cliché in the book, making it less enjoyable and more implausible. 55 people asked for this movie, and so they are getting it, this is "Unaccompanied Minors".

Story

So there are these 2 kids who are on their way to see their father. It's Christmas Eve, and a major snowstorm has canceled their flight, and unfortunately that means they have to spend their Christmas Eve, at an airport. The main boy, Spencer, decides to sneak away from the "Unaccompanied Minors club" (where all the unaccompanied minors are taken) with four other kids and cause havoc and because of this, his splits from his sister (who because she was a good girl who stayed with the other children and didn’t cause trouble and is taken to a hotel). Spencer decides that it is his goal to make sure that he gives his sister a doll for Christmas because this movie plays the "Santa doesn't exist" card just so the film has plot. The movie's overall conflict is just an on going "catch me if you can" story, with little children and BIG BAD LOUIS BLACK who is Head of Public Relations... Um I don't know what is worse, the fact that this movie pulls off every cliché after cliché in the book, that fact that this was "based on a true story" (much obliged Wikipedia), or the fact that you have Louis Black as head of your Public Relations.

Critique

Continuing on with what I just said about Louis Black, after watching the film I listened to the commentary to hear what the filmmaker Paul Feig and Louis Black had to say about the movie and it started off with Black and Feig making fun of it.

Feig: (Expressing why he feels this commentary is unnecessary) "...I guess if film students are watching this in a classroom it's good to have"*
Black: If you are watching this in a classroom, they (the school) owe you money!

Throughout the commentary it sounded like the filmmakers didn't take this movie too seriously, and it shows. I have never flown an airplane before, but I know that the security for your average American airport is not this bad. It shows how a bunch of immature little monsters are constantly able to outsmart the dumb ass adults who are supposed to be the security guards to the place. The characters for the most part are not very like able with the exceptions for that fat kid from "Bad Santa", and Louis Black (who seemed to be in the mind set that this movie is going to suck, so I might as well have fun with this role.) There are multiple conflicts that are going on all at once:

-(As mentioned before) Kids are trying to get to the hotel to give a little girl a Christmas present, and to return her doll to her so she doesn't think, "Santa forgot her."

-A father is trying to pick his kids up at the airport with his environmentally friendly car that runs on... what looks like the food for the vegetarian goblins in "Trolls 2", and runs into problems because it turns out environmentally friendly cars suck.

-Louis Black is trying to find the kids.

-Spencer's little sister has to deal with a bitchy little brat with braces.

-Spencer is trying to get the rich girl, Grace, to like him even though he is a nerd.

-The Fat Kid from "Bad Santa" is trying to find a Christmas tree because... the writers had written a fifth kid character in their story that is suppose to be based on a true event, and damn it they are going to use him.

-Charlie, the obnoxious black kid who tries to be funny but is just sad, and Donna, some bratty little girl who doesn't liked to be touched because... why the hell not, forms an instant romance after Donna hits Charlie in the balls.

-A worrying mother who is worrying about her kids with... Oh my God! Teri Garr? What did you do to yourself? You use to be attractive... Oh yeah but anyway the mother and Teri are worried about the kids, and... That’s about it really...

So you can see the problem can't you? There is a lot going on and yet at the same time nothing is happening. If the movie focused more on the kids, and maybe the father rather than every insignificant character it would feel less cluttered. I don't understand why we need 5 kids, 2-3 is enough, as long as they have something that make them unique and talented in certain areas (for example, one is a good leader, one is good at technology, and one is good at... making good jokes).
Which leads me to my next point, the jokes in this movie are virtually not funny. They are not delivered funny, some are just thrown in there at times that seemed forced, the moments in the film that are funny are the ones that were not intended to be funny, and THE MOVIE IS TRYING SO HARD TO BE FUNNY. Charlie, the obnoxious one in the movie, is the biggest offender of trying to be funny, but then goes past the point of no return. In one scene, he gets hit in the balls which is funny, but ruined the very instant he yells into the camera "That's going to hurt when I pee!" before dropping to the ground in pain... Thank you movie, I'm glad you were here to explain the joke to me.
For a movie that is "based on a true story" it is very unrealistic, the kids in the movie are able to get away with every crime you can name, the security guards are idiots, and there are moments that make no sense. When in the airport prison cells, the kids are allowed to have walkie talkies that double as movie cameras (which for some reason are of the exact same quality as the security cameras in the lock down, and can pick up sound at times when it is convenient for the plot), which I doubt you are allowed to have a toothbrush let alone a WALKIE FREAKEN TALKIE THAT CAN TAKE VIDEO FOOTAGE when you're in one of those airport prison cells.

Aside from plot holes, and just a cluttered story that takes an original concept and just makes it down right painful, the ending is a disappointment.

(lame) SPOILER ALERT

Remember when I said that one of the conflicts of the story was for Spencer to get Grace to like him even though he is a nerd. Well it happens because it turns out she wears glasses (which makes her a nerd too I guess), and because her parents "divorced her" (yeah I don't know what that mean either) she has nowhere to go for Christmas. So Spencer invites her to spend Christmas with his family (by family I mean Father and sister), and she just goes with him and the father doesn't even ask Spencer whom the nerdy girl is, he just accepts that Spencer is just bringing home a random stranger to their house for Christmas. That's just bad, I would say bad parenting but this applies to the entirety of the human race, if you just let random strangers who you've never met before come to your house without making sure whether or not they have a criminal record is just pretty stupid and will no doubt result in the family being murdered by an obviously psychotic killer (who received emotional scars when she was younger by being made fun of as a nerd) who poses as a rich girl with "parents that divorced" (which I've now come to realize might be code for I killed them in their sleep, and stole all their money).
Speaking of serious crimes, the kids in the movie should have been arrested for "grand theft auto, reckless driving, destructive property", eating a lot of food and not paying for it, misuse of safety equipment (the fat kid from "Bad Santa" inflates all of the inflatable rafts and life vests, and misuses the other equipment that could have been used to saving someone's life), and just other stupid things, and you would think that they would be arrested. YOU WOULD THINK THAT BECAUSE YOU ARE A RATIONAL HUMAN BEING WHO HAS SOME FORM OF INTELLIGENCE (or at least I assume because you are able to read this article), unlike the characters in this movie who seem to forget the whole "these kids committed a crime and escaped confinement TWICE in one night" and just let them go on their merry way. Oh and remember this plot point:

-Charlie, the obnoxious black kid who tries to be funny but is just sad, and Donna, some bratty little girl who doesn't liked to be touched because... why the hell not, forms an instant romance after Donna hits Charlie in the balls.

Well guess what? They get together in the end. I hope you are relieved that two twelve-year-olds are hooking up after ONE night of knowing each other. Donna kisses Charlie and Charlie responds with "WOW! You are so hot right now!" (If there was a feature on my DVD that allowed me to smack this kid across the face every time he says something stupid like this, I would have used it so many times) but what's even better is how Donna responds to the Charlies 'Der you is a pertty coot' line:

Charlie: WOW! You are so hot right now!
Donna: (after blushing) I know

...That just might be the funniest moment in the film. Donna, a tomboy of a girl, is told she is "so hot right now" (because I'm assuming that no one has ever kissed Charlie before who wasn't a relative) and her response wasn't "thanks you're cute too", or some cheesy dopier line that would make this scene anymore awkward than it already is, but instead she just goes "yeah I know I'm hot!" The thing is I don't think that was her actual line, I think she screwed up or forgot her line and Paul Feig was like "um you're suppose to say 'thank you'" and she was like "I know". At least that's how it makes sense in my mind.

Oh and that Fat Kid from "Bad Santa", you want to know what happened to him? So do I, he's never heard from again after he returns with a big-ass Christmas tree that he bought with his... Aqua Man action figure... ON CHRISTMAS DAY NO LESS, I'M SURPRISED THERE WERE STILL CHRISTMAS TREES LEFT TO SELL... he just... disappears into fat air.

Oh and you've got to love Jack Black when he confronts Spencer near the end of the movie and asks him "Who trained you kids? The Navy SEALs?" My response to that is "WHO TRAINED YOUR DUMB ASS SECURITY GUARDS?" These are the men who are suppose to protect your airport from any kind of threat that may occur (like terrorists, hijackers, drug dealers, pirates, ninjas, and space aliens) and they couldn't handle 5 pre-teen offenders? God help you when actual teenagers attack you.

But you know what, maybe this is like "Puss in Boots", maybe even though the story is bad, you might be able to enjoy it if you turn your brain off, and just accept that this film is crap.

*Not exact quote

Overall

Bottom line, this is a movie so bad that it's still a bad movie. It doesn't have the excuse of "Babes in Toyland" or "Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1", where there was at least SOME effort put into the films, nor does it have the excuse of "Killer Clowns from Outer Space" where they were trying to make a bad movie. This is a movie that could have been good if there were less characters, less plot points, better conclusions, or just some caring for the film. This is a film that was made by people, who didn't really care about it, and it shows, and that's the biggest problem. When making a movie (or anything really) you have to put some effort into it, some caring, some thought, but this film didn't have that, and therefore it fails to even be so bad it's good.

This maybe a guilty pleasure for some people, and I could understand that, but I certainly don't get any pleasure out of this, I gave it a 3.6 out of 10.

What about you?

If you've seen "Unaccompanied Minors", what did you think?

  • worst movie ever
  • It was bad, but
  • So-so
  • It was good, but
  • GREATEST MOVIE EVER!!!
See results without voting

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Comments 10 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Doesn't look like something that I'd enjoy and I'll take your word for. However when it does come on TV eventually I may give it a shot. Thanks.


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 4 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping bye Susan, always good to hear from you :)


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee

I haven't seen it yet and having read this review I do not foresee watching it in this lifetime. So thanks much for the heads up! And what a shame any film maker would expend time, energy, money, film and actors for a deliberate half-ass production.


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 4 years ago Author

Yes bethperry, it is a shame, because this film had such potential to be so much better than it is. But it happens. Thanks for stopping by, great to hear from you :)


FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 4 years ago from The Garden State

I remember seeing the commercials for this one when it was in theatres and thinking "Man, what the hell is Lewis Black doing in this movie? He's better than that!"


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 4 years ago Author

He is, and he was the best part of this movie (pretty much). He's a talented comedian, actor, and play writer, but he did have fun in this movie so you can't blame him for that :) Thanks for the comment FatFreddysCat great to hear from ya:)


FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 4 years ago from The Garden State

If memory serves, Jon Stewart made a few jabs to Lewis on "The Daily Show" about his appearance in this movie, and Lewis shot back that Jon Stewart had no place to talk since he was in "Death to Smoochy." Haha.


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 4 years ago Author

Haha, yup, that's right. I'm pretty sure Lewis knew that the movie was crap, because he kept ripping the shit out of the film in the commentary. He also hated the kid who played Charlie (Tyler James Williams), saying that "all he does is talk and talk and I'm like 'SHUT UP!' And yeah, Stewart shouldn't have been talking, (cough-cough-death-to-smoochy-cough-cough) thanks again FatFreddysCat


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I had no desire to see this film, and even less now. I'm glad you provided nods to Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids. I find both of those to be brilliant!


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 4 years ago Author

Yes I really like both "Freaks and Geeks" and "Bridesmaids" as well. This will be just a dark stain in Paul Feig's career. Thanks for comment, great to hear from you :)

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