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Minutemen (DVD Review)

25 May, 2008 By: Anne Sherber


Street 5/27/08
$26.99 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Jason Dolley, Luke Benward, Nicholas Braun, Chelsea Staub.

After the wildly successful “High School Musical” movies, the Disney Channel has continued to mine the high-school experience as fodder for new made-for-TV movies.

Minutemen is the latest entry into the canon, and it is an agreeable sci-fi comedy that features several of the channel's current teen heartthrobs.

The plot, which dips its toe into several similarly themed movies, revolves around a pair of high-school boys, fairly low on the popularity food chain, and a metal-shop refugee, who is way smarter than he looks, who invent and construct a time machine.

At first they use the contraption to wreak havoc on the kids who've bullied them and climb a few notches on the high-school status ladder. But the more they fool with the timeline, the shakier the whole time-space continuum becomes.

Pretty soon, the planet is in danger of caving in on itself, and only the three dweebs can undo the damage they've done.

Dolley, Benward and Braun, as the geek brigade that brings civilization as we know it to the brink of destruction, are all rising young Disney Channel hunks. Dolley and Benward both have surprisingly good comic timing and, although neither is ready for Shakespeare, they turn in solid performances as kids who leap before they look.

Especially good is Braun as the kid everyone assumes is a menacing dullard but who is actually a quick-witted mechanical genius and is, perhaps, the smartest of the three.

A music video of the film's title song and a standard-issue electronic press kit making-of featurette are included. But the real attraction of Minutemen is the film's three stars. Their presence renders criticism of this cute little confection completely null.

Its intended audience — tweens and young teenage girls — will be happy to watch Minutemen again and again.

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