ZERO STARS/**** Image D+ Sound B- Extras D+
starring Lewis Black, Wilmer Valderrama, Tyler James Williams, Dyllan Christopher
screenplay by Jacob Meszaros & Mya Stark
directed by Paul Feig
by Walter Chaw The bare bones of it--misfit kids stranded, The Breakfast Club-like, in a relationship pressure-cooker--seems tailor-made for "Freaks and Geeks" co-creator Paul Feig, but the fact that it plays out in a series of deadening, eternally-unspooling pratfalls and Catskills set-ups and payoffs proves that it's possible for good artists to produce bad art. Feig getting work at all (ditto erstwhile partner-in-crime Judd Apatow, who's sadly already used up a good bit of good will) in Hollywood suggests that the same blindness that finds consistent employment for Michael Bay and Brett Ratner will sometimes smile on good, smart people like Feig. That being said, Unaccompanied Minors is appalling. If it's not offensive in any substantive sense, it's bad by almost every measure of quality. People defending things like this children-running-amuck slapstick piece--which demonstrates precious little in the way of focus or restraint (think Baby's Day Out or any Home Alone sequel, but without the depth)--because their children like it would have their kids taken away from them were they to apply this rationale to food, toys, friends, schools, car seats, and so on. The reason we don't let youngsters vote and sign contracts is that their judgment is for shit, and if we want to keep them from setting themselves on fire we ought to be protecting them from this stuff, too, not indulging their affinity for it.