January 25, 2008 – The Disney Channel Original Movie Minutemen Premieres
“You know what would really make me happy? If you build something useful. And by useful, I mean something that will make me rich and popular. Or both.”
On January 25, 2008, the Disney Channel Original Movie Minutemen premiered. A single for the film was released on Radio Disney Jams Vol. 10, called “Run it Back Again” by Corbin Bleu. The movie had over 6 million viewers on its premiere. It was written by John Killoran, and directed by Lev L. Spiro. It starred Jason Dolley as Virgil Fox, Luke Benward as Charlie Tuttle, Nicholas Braun as Zeke Thompson, Chelsea Staub as Stephanie Jameson, and Steven R. McQueen as Derek Beaugard.
The film begins at Summerton High School, where best friends Derek, Stephanie, and Virgil arrive for their first day. Derek plans on trying out for the football team, and Chelsea tries out for cheerleading, while Virgil arrives to the tryouts to cheer his friends on. While trying out, a student drives onto the field in a souped-up golf cart, losing control of the cart. Derek manages to stop the cart by throwing a football and hitting the driver, knocking him out. The driver is Charlie Tuttle, a genius who skipped a few grades, and is soon tossed about by the football team. When trying to defend Charlie, Virgil gets caught in the tussle and is also beat up by the players, soon branded as a social outcast after being dressed up in a cheerleading outfit and hung from the statue of the school mascot. After this, the friendship between Derek and Virgil becomes strained, but a friendship grows between Virgil and Charlie.
Moving forward to senior year, Charlie and Virgil cross paths with bad boy outcast Zeke, but quickly get out of the way before there is any altercation. At lunch, Virgil watches his former friends, who are now dating, at their lunch table, while he sits at the geek table, and wonders how it has come to this, and realizes it all goes back to that freshman year incident. He spies Stephanie alone at the vending machine and goes over to talk to her, and the two are still seen as friendly even though they don’t spend time together anymore. While in his class, Charlie bursts in for an “emergency” and pulls Virgil out to tell him about a new invention: a time machine. Virgil doesn’t believe that Charlie has built a time machine, but Charlie tries to convince him further. Charlie then has Virgil try and find a mechanic guy for building the machine, and Virgil picks Zeke, much to Charlie’s dismay. Zeke surprisingly agrees to help construct the time machine, and a strange partnership is formed between the three.
Charlie agrees to let Virgil pick the first trip back in time, and Virgil decides to go back and pick the winning lottery ticket, much to Charlie’s dismay. Zeke then lets the pair know that they’re going to need a lot of power to start the machine, and Virgil points out that they’ll need a large space with privacy. They try to talk to Vice Principal Tolkan about starting a new club at school, but all Tolkan does is give the trio a lecture on the pecking order in high school and how it will never change while ignoring one of the nerds that has been shoved inside a vending machine. Fortunately, they are able to convince him to give them Room 77, which is underneath the football field, and the boys soon set up shop.
Soon, the machine is built, and they send Charlie’s cat on the first trip through time. Meanwhile, at Pacific Tech, their machines are going haywire from the activity from the time machine, but they dismiss it as a computer glitch. Meanwhile, at school, Stephanie is suspicious of Derek spending his time with popular but dense student Jocelyn. Virgil talks to Stephanie after Derek leaves, with Stephanie admitting that she misses the three of them hanging out, and wishes that Virgil would let go of the past, especially since Derek tried to stop the incident from freshman year from happening. Later, lotto numbers in hand, the guys plan their trip in with the time machine, dressed in several layers of winter clothing to keep them warm as they travel through the vortex. The trip is a success, although they forget that they can’t buy a ticket because they are underage. They then ask a street performer to buy the ticket for them, but they only have two minutes to get back to the school, so they ask the performer to meet him there at noon the next day. They head back to the school, but when the group shows up the next day, the performer claims the ticket for himself, and wins the state lottery.
Virgil wants another chance to claim the lottery money, but Charlie shuts him down, as he believes it’s cheating. Charlie would rather do more noble things, but Virgil is obsessed with popularity and being rich. As this occurs, poor nerd Chester is still running into trouble with the popular kids when they steal his clothes after gym class. Charlie and Virgil then come up with the idea to use the time machine to help Chester become popular. Virgil proposes that they call themselves the Minutemen, and the other two reluctantly agree. As they prepare for the next travel, fellow student Janette shows up to join their club. Janette has been following Charlie around as she has a huge crush on him, although he has no interest in her. They then let her in on the secret about their time machine, and she agrees to keep the secret – so long as she can coordinate their outfits. They then head on their mission dressed in special snow gear and give Chester a new set of clothes, but destroy VP Tolkan’s diorama of the school in the process. Later, Tolkan issues a warning to the travelers, and the three just laugh it off.
Zeke is at a burger joint downtown and spots a nerd picked on by everyone, and decides to make this the next mission. The guys once again save the day and humiliate the popular kids, further incurring the wrath of Tolkan. They continue to perform good deeds, saving the unpopular kids from further embarrassment, with each travel through time causing the Pacific Data tech to go haywire, and guys find themselves followed by men in suits. The unpopular kids in the school find themselves rising in popularity, and copping an ego, but this leaves the Minutemen as the lone unpopular guys. Charlie then admits to the guys that he stole the blueprints for the time machine from NASA, and they agree not to use the machine for a while. Unfortunately, Virgil needs the machine to help Stephanie: she had to tryout for a cheerleading scholarship, but has broken her leg before the scout arrives. Although Charlie first argues against it, they finally agree as a group to help her.
The guys head back to the previous day’s cheerleading practice, and Zeke has already set their plan into action to prevent Stephanie from falling off the top of the pyramid. Stephanie soon figures out the identity of the strange Minutemen when Virgil saves her. She comes by his house later to thank him and let him know that she does know who the “snowsuit guys” are, and he accidentally lets slip that they are time travelers. At the next football game, the guys are there to see if there are any incidents to correct, and Derek blows the game thanks to the antics of Chester, who streaks across the sidelines. Stephanie tells Derek about the time travel, and he stops by to ask Virgil to fix the game. Virgil isn’t sure, but when Derek seems sincere about wishing they could be friends again, Virgil agrees. Charlie, however, is not convinced, and thinks that their travels may be destroying the time-space continuum. However, they feel responsible for what happened, and decide to save the game.
Derek is grateful for what Virgil has done, and tries to convince Virgil to celebrate and come to a party. Virgil decides to ditch Charlie and head to the party, and he talks with Stephanie. Stephanie starts to wonder if she actually chose the right path of life freshman year, as being popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Meanwhile, Charlie finds out that Virgil ditched him, and is hurt, but forgives Virgil, only to find himself ditched again when Stephanie calls. Stephanie finds out that Derek has been cheating on her with Jocelyn, and Virgil rushes over to help her out. Derek calls her while they talk, and Virgil leaves so she can talk it out with him. Meanwhile, all the time traveling has caused a ripple effect, and a giant hole starts to appear in the middle of the football field. Derek also confides in Virgil about the incident, saying Jocelyn made the first move, and pleads for Virgil to use the time machine to stop Stephanie from catching him kissing Jocelyn.
On his way home, though, Virgil is caught by the FBI, as is Charlie and Zeke. The guys get into a fight, as Zeke and Charlie feel that Virgil has become a sell-out. Derek pushes Virgil for an answer, and Virgil decides to time travel on his own. Charlie runs some calculations overnight, and finds that the time traveling has created a black hole. Charlie then runs to the FBI to let them know of the black hole, and there are only four hours until the black hole swallows up all of America. Meanwhile, Virgil is heading to the school dance with Stephanie, and Derek once again checks with Virgil to see if he’s change the situation. However, Stephanie is falling for Virgil, and Virgil is reluctant to change this, as he’s had a crush on Stephanie for ages. Charlie rushes to the dance to stop Virgil from jumping through time. Derek takes Virgil away from the dance, but Charlie intercepts them to stop the jump. As the black hole starts swallowing the football field, Charlie, Virgil, and Zeke have to go on one last jump to save the world.
The guys jump into the black hole, and they use the reversal sequence on the hole once they land. After picking up a newspaper, Virgil realizes that they landed on the day of the incident – the first day of freshman year. Thinking that he can stop the incident once and for all, he races to the school, but Zeke and Charlie stop him. Virgil argues that he has a chance to be someone, but Charlie shoots back that this was the day that he made a real friend for the first time in his life. Zeke then says that it’s up to Virgil what will happen, but he’s enjoyed the ride nonetheless. Virgil looks at the scene unfold, and realizes that Derek gave the football players the idea to dress Charlie and Virgil up. Charlie and Zeke race back to the vortex, but Virgil grabs Charlie’s cart and the three make-up before racing to make it back to the vortex just in time. They arrive back to the day that they first time-traveled, and after Derek insults them, Virgil lets slip about Derek’s cheating on Stephanie with Jocelyn. In the end, everyone is happy: Zeke has the attention of two girls, Charlie kisses Jeanette, and Virgil tells Stephanie how he really feels, with Stephanie reciprocating. Unfortunately, Charlie has a new idea for an experiment: teleportation.