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The Unexpecteds

By Alan Ng | June 12, 2024

Alejandro Montoya Marin’s comedy, The Unexpecteds, is a story of the little guy (and gal) toppling an evil Goliath. It’s comfort food at a time when feeling comfortable is so sorely needed.

Comedian Matt Walsh plays a typical schlub named Gary. It’s not that he’s looking for more excitement in his life. Instead, he’s looking for a quick monetary boon to thrust him into a life of financial security. Freedom comes by way of social media influencer Metal Mike (John Kaler), who is pumping his surefire cryptocurrency investment.

Also part of Gary’s investment/dreamers club is the elder Kurt (Gerry Bednob), soon-to-be-divorced single mother Pati (Chelsea Rendon), and aspiring actor/party character Carl (Francisco Ramos). In an instant, their world comes to an end when Metal Mike’s crypto scheme crashes, and our heroes are each left penniless. Most devastated is Gary’s wife, Kate (Sonya Smith), who leaves him after losing everything behind her back.

Armed with rage and a penchant for revenge, Gary and the gang decide to go after the shyster Metal Mike before he flees the country. What no one knows is that Mike is a shill for the greedy gangster Jordan (Jason Konopisos-Alvarez), armed with goons and guns. The only chance to get their money back is to kidnap Metal Mike and get him to return their money. Having no clue about being a bad guy, the team enlists the help of Carl’s estranged father (and maybe secret agent), Felipe (Alejandro De Hoyos).

“…their world comes to an end when Metal Mike’s crypto scheme crashes, and our heroes are each left penniless.”

The Unexpecteds is simply good fun. It’s not going to change the world…unless you consider a bunch of underdogs, no different than you or me, coming out on top as changing the world…then I guess it does.

The film’s success comes in Alejandro Montoya Marin’s characters. There are a lot of them, and each one has its own distinct personality and motivation. Matt Walsh is the veteran actor here, and he’s the husband who lost everything for the right reason and honor bound to his wife to make things right. Chelsea Rendon portrays Pati as a righteous woman who has been screwed over by people she trusts over and over again. Francisco Ramos plays Carl as the son who needs a father figure to show him how to be the man he wants to be.

Once you have characters that audiences can relate to and root for, then the comedy is that much easier to pull off. As the story of taking down the gangster Jordan becomes more complicated and dangerous, our heroes can use secret mundane skills and dumb luck to triumph in the end. As Filipe, Alejandro De Hoyos just has that swagger and bravado of the rugged and handsome secret agent.

Film Threat has been following Marin’s career for quite some time, reviewing several shorts and his first feature, Millennium Bugs. The Unexpecteds is the next evolution in this filmmaker’s career. From start to finish, the look of the film feels cinematic. The pacing and editing are perfect, and, once again, the cast shines at the end of this funny, feel-good film. Nothing is more exciting for me than seeing indie filmmakers level up in their careers.

The Unexpecteds premiered at the 2024 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.

The Unexpecteds (2024)

Directed and Written: Alejandro Montoya Marin

Starring: Matt Walsh, Alejandro De Hoyos, Chelsea Rendon, Francisco Ramos, Jason Konopisos, Sonya Smith, Gerry Benob, John Kaler, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

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"…the next evolution in this filmmaker's career."

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