Film Review: The Unexpecteds is a scrappy caper comedy that gets by on its plucky charm

Thanks to the rise of cryptocurrency – and the emphasis that anyone’s voice can now be heard through a variety of social media outlets – scammers have a platform and a mainstream presence.  They were never exactly a hidden, unknown collective, but there’s perhaps a prominence surrounding them now, and as the opening title card reveals in The Unexpecteds, there’s been a vast amount of money lost in the last few years due to people falling victim.

Alejandro Montaya Marin gives some archetypes of these victims a relatability in The Unexpecteds, a quirky comedy caper that aims for an exaggerated, sitcom-like mentality, but still manages to present a commentary on the “get rich quick” schemes that seemingly every economic class falls victim to.  The scammer in question is “Metal Mike” (John Kaler), a crypto trader and obnoxious social media “personality”, who has convinced hoards of naive followers that achieving substantial wealth is possible with only a few investments.

We all know this is drastically fake, but the likes of Gary (Matt Walsh), Pati (Chelsea Rendon), Carl (Francisco Ramos) and Kurt (Gerry Bednob) don’t, and their life savings are siphoned through to Metal Mike’s operation, leaving them penniless when their “investments” go south.  Most people would live in their feelings of regret and and want revenge, but seldom act on the latter.  Gary and his cohorts, however, they aren’t willing to take this lying down, and when Gary loses his family he’s inspired to seek Metal Mike out and get back what’s rightfully his.

With Kurt in the hospital, it’s up to Gary, Pati and Carl to exact their plan, and when they align themselves with the resourceful Felipe (Alejandro De Hoyos), all seems to be on track.  Of course, this being a farcical comedy of sorts means not everything will run smoothly, and Montoya Marin’s script has some fun in playing into the characters’ wildly unprepared nature when it comes to exacting something so bold and outlandish; realising that movies don’t actually teach you everything you need to know about shooting a gun being one of the amusing gags here.

Whilst the evident low budget means there’s a certain unpolished look to the film (the credits especially have an amateurish quality to them) and characters like Kurt and Pati feel a little more shoehorned into proceedings, rather than being fully fleshed out beings – criticisms that can be smoothened the more Montoya Marin perfects his craft – The Unexpecteds ultimately works because Walsh’s everyman, De Hoyos’ exaggerated action persona, and Kaler’s over-the-top commitment to Metal Mike allow the film to sit comfortably between escapism and a surprising relatable emotionality.

A scrappy caper comedy that undoubtedly needs some sharpening around the edges, but ultimately wins out with undeniable charm, The Unexpecteds presents promising work from Montoya Marin and serves as a timely reminder of the criminal culture we unfortunately support across platforms that should never be taken at face value.


The Unexpecteds is currently seeking distribution.

Peter Gray

Seasoned film critic. Gives a great interview. Penchant for horror. Unashamed fan of Michelle Pfeiffer and Jason Momoa.