The Unexpecteds (2024) Review — A Caper Comedy That Doesn’t Quite Reach Its Potential

FandomWire's review of new film The Unexpecteds does not contain significant spoilers.

The Unexpecteds (2024)
The Unexpecteds (2024)

SUMMARY

  • FandomWire's review of new film The Unexpecteds does not contain significant spoilers.
  • The Unexpecteds is an underwhelming caper comedy with a Matt Walsh being miscast in the lead role.
  • Here at FandomWire, we give The Unexpecteds a grade of 4/10.
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The Unexpecteds is one of those films you wish they would remake instead of a classic. That’s not to put the film down, far from it. You see the potential in writer and director Alejandro Montoya Marin’s third feature film. The story is timely and engaging, and the script has some well-timed jokes. However, this comedy caper never quite reaches its potential.

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The reason is glaring and obvious—the cast’s flat and wooden performances. And that’s a shame because this “Dumb Money Light” could have been something embraced. If only the cast could have found the heart of the matter, at least enough for the audience to embrace the characters from The Unexpecteds and care.

Alejandro De Hoyos, Chelsea Rendon, Matt Walsh, and Francisco Ramos in The Unexpecteds | Image via Atla California Pictures
Alejandro De Hoyos, Chelsea Rendon, Matt Walsh, and Francisco Ramos in The Unexpecteds | Image via Atla California Pictures

The Unexpecteds Review and Synopsis

The story follows Gary (Veep’s Matt Walsh), an ordinary middle-aged man with a wife (Mi Familia Perfecta’s Sonya Smith) and a teenage son. Gary is a regular nine-to-fiver, working a steady job he hates. However, that’s all about to change because he plans to get rich quickly. As a result, Gary falls for one of those online social media scams promising big money with little risk.

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Gary puts all his faith in Metal Mike (Wonder Woman 1984’s John Kaler), a fast-talking yuppie who seems to be stuck in arrested development, on YouTube videos and other social media platforms. Metal Mike makes it rain with large bills over a half-dozen women dressed in bikinis in exotic locations. Gary feels the rush of excitement and wants to be a part of it.

Alejandro De Hoyos in The Unexpecteds | Image via Atla California Pictures
Alejandro De Hoyos in The Unexpecteds | Image via Atla California Pictures

The Unexpecteds Falls Short 

Unfortunately, Gary brings in his friends: a struggling divorced mother, Pati (Lucifer’s Chelsea Rendon); a shy and immature Carlos (Francisco Ramos); and a geriatric with a penchant for falling asleep at gatherings, Kurt (a scene-stealing Gerry Bednob). They lose their life savings. Fortunately, Carlos calls his estranged father, Felipe (Trigger Warning’s Alejandro De Hoyos), to help get it back.

Marin’s comedy had plenty of comedic potential, especially with De Hoyos’s Felipe clashing with his son’s personality. Felipe is a take-charge secret agent baffled by his son’s choices in friends, career, and even personality. However, these characters are one-note, like Walsh’s relationship with his wife. It is a typical cliché, going from one extreme to another with little depth.

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Sonya Smith and Matt Walsh in The Unexpecteds | Image via Atla California Pictures
Sonya Smith and Matt Walsh in The Unexpecteds | Image via Atla California Pictures

Is The Unexpecteds Worth Watching?

The Unexpecteds is not worth watching at theatrical prices. The most glaring weakness is casting Matt Walsh in the lead role. Walsh, Emmy-nominated actor or not, is too lightweight an actor to carry any movie. His comic delivery lacks verve, timing, and pace. He looks and feels like he is sleeping through his role and displays his established comedic talents.

I did enjoy De Hoyos’s befuddled reaction to his incompetent team. The other saving grace comes from the film’s villain, played by Jason Konopisos-Alvarez, who is hilariously over-the-top evil here. However, the rest of the cast has trouble generating laughs. The plot points in the third act begin to drag and lose steam, undercutting a heartfelt ending that still needs to be earned.

For an independent film budget,The Unexpecteds generates enough interest to keep you invested. However, while Marin’s script has good lines, the effort is lacking.

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The Unexpecteds | Image via Atla California Pictures
The Unexpecteds | Image via Atla California Pictures

The Unexpecteds premiered at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and is awaiting distribution. 

4/10

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Written by M.N. Miller

Articles Published: 154

M.N. Miller is a film and television critic and a proud member of the Las Vegas Film Critic Society, Critics Choice Association, and a 🍅 Rotten Tomatoes/Tomato meter approved. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Mansfield University and a Master's from Chamberlain University. However, he still puts on his pants one leg at a time, and that's when he usually stumbles over. When not writing about film or television, he patiently waits for the next Pearl Jam album and chooses to pass the time by scratching his wife's back on Sunday afternoons while she watches endless reruns of California Dreams. M.N. Miller was proclaimed the smartest reviewer alive by actor Jason Isaacs but chose to ignore his obvious sarcasm. You can also find his work on Hidden Remote, InSession Film, Ready Steady Cut, Geek Vibes Nation, and Nerd Alert.