30 Minutes or Less (Rated R)
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Plot: A slacker pizza delivery guy ends up the pawn of two hapless criminals who strap a bomb on his chest and give him nine hours to rob a bank.
In my review for The Help, I talked about the power cinema has to open up someone to ideas. I also said there was nothing wrong with mindless entertainment. 30 Minutes or Less falls strongly into that latter category.
Jesse Eisenberg is Nick, a stoned pizza delivery guy who is stuck in a prolonged adolescence. Dwayne (Danny McBride) is pretty much in the same boat, but he has a plan. He’s going to kill his old man and inherit everything. The problem? He doesn’t want to do it himself, and he doesn’t have the $100,000 he needs to hire it done.
Dwayne and his best friend Travis (Nick Swardson), who happens to be a self-taught demolitions expert, decide to kidnap someone, strap him with a bomb, and make him rob a bank to get the money to pay for the assassin. What could go wrong?
This is how Nick (Eisenberg) ends up with a bomb vest on and trying to figure out how to rob a bank. He is aided by his best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari). Together they set out to rob the bank, evade the police and try to outsmart Dwayne and Travis.
The movie is pretty much slapstick humor and car chases, but it definitely goes a little darker with its comedy in the second half. Made by the director of Zombieland (which also starred Eisenberg), Fleischer definitely has a hand for balancing silly humor with black comedy.
Eisenberg is really funny, although I question this as a follow-up to his Oscar nominated role in The Social Network. Ansari is hilarious and this could be a break-out role for him. Nick Swardson is really funny, too, so the weak part of the movie for me ends up being Danny McBride. I’m just not quite sure I understand his appeal.
Ultimately, 30 Minutes or Less was a pleasant night out. I saw this with a friend and my two teenaged daughters. We all laughed and had a good time. I don’t think it’s a movie I would probably watch again, and it definitely suffers in comparison to the other R-rated comedies I’ve seen this summer. All-in-all, I’d wait for this one to hit DVD.
If you are in the Ames area, 30 Minutes or Less is playing at the Cinemark Movies 12. In its opening week, it is on two screens at the following times: 12:10 PM, 2:25 PM, 4:35 PM, 6:55 PM, 9:15 PM.
Remember, showtimes are subject to change so check with the theater or on Cinemark.com for current times.
If you are not in the Ames area, Fandango.com has theater listings and showtimes.