tek's rating:

Minutemen, Disney Channel
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The movie starts with three friends, Virgil, Derek, and Stephanie (who we like), starting their first day of high school. Stephanie tries out for cheerleading, while Derek tries out for football. Virgil is just basically a goofball. Then a genius kid named Charlie, who I guess is also starting high school despite being a few years younger, shows up on the field driving a cart with some kind of quantum boosters or something, and he can't control it. He causes some damage, and all the football guys start bullying him, but Virgil sticks up for him. The two of them end up hung from a statue of a ram, in cheerleader outfits. It was very embarrassing, but the two of them became friends after that.

The movie then flashes forward 3 years, to when they're all seniors. Virgil hangs out with Charlie and other unpopular nerds, while Derek and Stephanie are part of the popular crowd, so they don't see much of Virgil anymore. He sometimes still talks to Steph, but there seems to be bad blood between Virgil and Derek because of the incident three years ago. He seems to envy their popularity, but more than that, he obviously really likes Steph, who is now dating Derek... even though she suspects there might be something going on between him and some other girl.

Anyway, one day Charlie realizes the formula he used for his rocket cart could have another application... time travel. So he gets Virgil to help him recruit Zeke, a mechanically inclined student who everyone fears, and the three of them construct their time machine, which opens a vortex they can enter to travel up to 48 hours into the past. But they find they need someone to stay behind in the present (for some reason I didn't catch, and this was after all three of them had gone back together with no one left behind anyway, but whatever). So, it's convenient that this girl named Jeanette (who we like) discovers their secret, and helps them out by monitoring the vortex or whatever while they go back in time. She's, um... a cross between spunky and nutty. Actually she kind of reminds me of Jordan from the movie "Real Genius." And she seems to have a crush on Charlie, who is fairly uncomfortable around her. Anyway, she gets them all snow suits to wear on their time trips.

What Virgil, Charlie, and Zeke start doing is going back to moments when things have gone wrong for kids at school, and helping them out. They call themselves the Minutemen, but because of the snow suits they wear, everyone calls them "Snow Suit Guys." They're like these anonymous heroes who become popular even if no one knows who they are, or how they know when and where to show up. Meanwhile, Vice Principal Tolkan wants to catch the Snow Suit Guys and put a stop to their disruption of the natural order of things at school. It's actually pretty funny, because before all this started, he'd never help out kids who were in trouble, just because he figured things were supposed to be how they were. Some kids bully, some get bullied. So, not only doesn't he help the bullied or punish the bullies, he wants to punish those who do stop the bullies.

But Charlie soon realizes unpredictable changes are occurring, there's like a ripple effect caused by the things they intentionally change. Like the first kid they helped, a nerd named Chester, becomes popular, and apparently under his leadership, the nerds start bullying some of the former bullies. So perhaps Tolkan's concept of the natural order being disrupted isn't quite as crazy as it seems. As if this wasn't enough, eventually Charlie will find more serious problems with... you know, the space-time continuum or whatever. Meanwhile, there are a couple of scientists monitoring distortions, and at first they dismiss it, but when it starts happening alot, they get the FBI involved, and they start watching the time travelers.

Meanwhile, when Virgil went back in time to prevent an accident Stephanie had, she discovered his secret, that he and his friends were the Snow Suit Guys. And later she wants him to go back and prevent a problem Derek had in a game. So Virgil gets to start hanging out with his old friends again, and the whole popular crowd, which of course makes him start to neglect Charlie and Zeke. And um... there's some more drama I don't want to go into, but... anyway, eventually Charlie realizes the distortions they've been causing are actually starting to merge to form a black hole that could destroy the whole world.

So... Virgil, Charlie, and Zeke will have to enter the black hole to... reverse it or stabilize it or whatever. They end up on the day in freshman year when everything started, and then there's some more personal drama, and then... they have to rush to try to get back to the future. (Speaking of "Back to the Future," that movie was actually mentioned at one point in this movie, and I'm sure there must have been any number of other movies or shows that various elements of the plot reminded me of. But not in a rip-offy kinda way, I dunno... I just enjoyed certain similarities to other things.) And... I don't want to spoil anything about how it all ends, but I thought it was a pretty good ending, on all fronts.

Yep, the whole movie was just pretty fun, and... I guess that's all I can think to say at the moment. But I wouldn't mind watching it again someday or even seeing a sequel.


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