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Saturday, August 13, 2011

30 Minutes or Less, sporadically funny

30 Minutes or Less, directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) stars Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari and Nick Swardson. So far this year the comedies have been a mixed bag. There have been a few decent comedies like Horrible Bosses and Bridesmaids, and I was so hoping 30 Minutes or Less would be added to the mix but sadly this film doesn't hold a candle to Ruben's Zombieland, or for that matter any of the other good comedies this year. It does have a few redeeming qualities that I will go into, but overall it fell short of the mark.


In the action-comedy 30 Minutes or Less, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) is a small town pizza delivery guy whose mundane life collides with the big plans of two wanna-be criminal masterminds (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson). The volatile duo kidnaps Nick and forces him to rob a bank. With mere hours to pull off the impossible task, Nick enlists the help of his ex-best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari). As the clock ticks, the two must deal with the police, hired assassins, flamethrowers, and their own tumultuous relationship.

What I did like about this movie is that it seems to bear a resemblance to an unusual real life bank robbery which occurred on August 28, 2003 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Pizza delivery man Brian Douglas Wells was killed when a bomb fastened to his neck detonated as he was approached by police. Despite the similarities to the case, the cast and filmmakers claim to have had no prior knowledge of the incident, with the exception of the screenwriters who were vaguely aware of it. Sure. *winks* Moving on, some of the best scenes happen when Jesse and Aziz'z characters try to rob a bank and the ensuing car chase through the streets of Grand Rapids to the soundtrack of some classic 80's Glenn Frey, definitely entertaining. But the main problem was that those scenes came after the first 20 minutes of the film which felt really awkward, almost as if the actors were trying just a little too hard to make it all work. But like I said, after the movie picks up it gets a little more tolerable.

With the highs and lows of the script taking up a good deal of the film the movie does semi-pull together as you get closer to the ending. But nothing about the story really exploded off the screen. Some funny one-liners keep the comedy going but the manic pace of it all left this viewer with a bitter taste in her mouth. There are some scenes that didn't add up like *spoiler alert* Jesse's character hates his boss but you only see him interact with his boss one time. Nick Swardson's character has no clue what's going on in the beginning of the film but suddenly becomes far more genre-savvy 30 minutes later when he switches out phone numbers and comes up with all the brilliant plans to get the money back. *end of Spoiler alert* I just wasn't buying any of it. And what a shame, I really wanted this film to be something special in the comedy department.

The trailers for the movie held a VERY funny line between McBride and Swardson about high school and being part of a satanic cult, I sadly report that was cut from the final film. Alas this film just adds to the mediocre comedies that get cranked out of the Hollywood machine. Thank goodness for small favors, it has a short runtime so you at least can salvage most of the day, I suggest waiting for the DVD with this one. And really that breaks my heart to say, I wanted this to be so much better!

Getting 2 and 1/2 C4 Sheep



  1. Well it is always good to know what I am not missing:) Thanks for sharing today LOL

  2. lol glad I could help Denise. Wait for the dvd on this one :)