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30 Minutes or Less


Pop quiz hotshot: you wake up with a bomb tightly strapped to your chest and two men in masks are telling you to bring them $100k in ten hours or KABOOM. What do you do? What do you do?!?! Well if you are Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) you visit your friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) at a middle school, rob a bank, visit your girlfriend Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria, Greek) and quit your job all in 30 Minutes or Less.

Grade:

Nick is a pizza delivery boy with no ambition and no desire to break free from the mediocrity to which he has doomed himself. Once his only friends, Chet and twin sister Kate, decide to make the shift into adulthood he gets angry instead of motivated. Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson) are stuck in a similar life rut, but for different reasons. They decide to hire someone to kill Dwayne’s father, “the Major” (Fred Ward), but need $100,000 to do it. The next logical step – obviously – is to strap a bomb to an unassuming delivery boy and make him do the dirty work.

If you have ever seen a film with Eisenberg, Ansari, McBride and/or Swardson, then you know what kind of characters Nick, Chet, Dwayne and Travis are. We have two weak, semi-spastic, intelligent kids not reaching their potential and two ignorant, loud-mouthed buffoons. Ansari is by far the best part of the movie. He has the best lines and provides the most humor with his “didn’t you think that through” banter, but I don’t think he could hold a film on his own – I still want him to try though. For McBride and Swardson we have seen these same roles played out time and again, especially McBride. As for Eisenberg, I’ve said my piece on him here.

Much like Due Date, there is nothing particularly special about 30. To be clear, it is a funny movie with a fun premise and amusing situations, but it never passes that flat stage. Personally, the bank robbery was by far the best part. Since we have McBride reenacting Kenny Powers there will be very little chance 30 will make it to the likes of FX and retain its value after editing.

You never are truly on the floor laughing or grasping for breath, but you are by no means bored. To be honest, if you go into 30 Minutes or Less expecting the most hilarious film you’ve ever seen, then well, I’ll let Aziz explain.

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    • DLH
    • April 13th, 2012

    The sad part of this movie is that the idea (in very small part) is based on a case where the pizza deliveryman had his head blown off.

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