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August 2007

By Kam Williams


Actors: Lewis Black, Wilmer Valderrama, Tyler James Williams, Dyllan Christopher, Brett Kelly
Directors: Paul Feig
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: PG
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007
Run Time: 90 minutes


Crabby Curmudgeon Driven Batty by “Unaccompanied Minors”

Oliver Porter (Lewis Black), the passenger relations manager at Chicago’s Hoover International Airport, was looking forward to spending his well-deserved vacation in Hawaii over the Christmas holidays when the city was hit by a blizzard. To make matters worse he next learns that not only have al flights been cancelled due to the storm, but that he must now stay on duty, working overtime chaperoning the dozens of children traveling
without adults.

All the kids are herded into a locked holding cell in a basement where, of course, they bond with each other before proceeding to break out and drive him and his hapless assistant, Zach (Wilmer Valderrama), absolutely bonkers. The thundering herd of ‘tweeners is led by a dirty half-dozen ringleaders, each a recognizable archetype in their own right. There’s brainy Charlie (Tyler James Williams), suave Spencer (Dyllan Christopher), chubby Beef (Brett Kelly), tomboy Donna (Quinn Shephard), spoiled rotten Grace (Gina Mategna) and cutie pie Katie (Dominique Saldana).

Unaccompanied Minors unfolds like a lighthearted version of Home Alone, except instead of outwitting a gang of criminals, our petite protagonists set about besting a humorless Scrooge. Most of their antics are exactly what one would anticipate from adolescents gone wild around an airport, from sliding down baggage chutes to commandeering golf carts to all-out food fights.

Since none of the children exhibits a whit of charisma, the only thing that makes the movie even slightly bearable is Lewis Black’s game performance as the exasperated Mr. Porter, a role which called for a combination of pratfalls, popping his cork and wide-eyed reaction shots. Otherwise, this mediocre misadventure is apt to thrill only its targeted demographic as its predictable plot, sophomoric slapstick and scatological potty humor are unlikely to hold the attention of anyone over the age of ten. Predigested drivel.