30 Minutes or Less

Much like the pizza places that offer such a deal, you get what you pay for in this one.

If you’ve seen the preview for 30 Minutes or Less and thought it would be raunchy and pretty funny, you’re in the right headspace.

There’s not much else to say in terms of identifying the type of experience the movie provides, as a flick that features Jesse Eisenberg as a stoner delivery driver and Danny McBride blowing up a teddy bear with C4 is pretty clearly targeted for a certain demographic.

In this instance, the movie comes as advertised: fast-moving and funny enough to satisfy anyone in the mood for a stupid summer comedy.

The film centers around Nick (Eisenberg) and Chet (Aziz Ansari), two regular dudes just trying to make it happen, as they attempt to rob a bank. The reason? Nick has a bomb strapped to him by Dwayne (McBride) and Travis (Nick Swarsdon), two idiots trying to get money together to pay for a hit on Dwayne’s rich old man.

I summarize the film so succinctly because the film operates so succinctly. It runs only 83 minutes with credits, a pace that does it some serious favors. All too often movies could stand to cut 15 or 20 minutes out to allow for better pacing, and many decent films have been ruined by thinking that more is always better.

In this case, director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) flips that notion on its ear with a movie that focuses on its story, throws in a few laughs, and ends things before you get bored. While some have complained about the blink-and-you-missed-it style, one can’t help but appreciate a filmmaker going in the opposite direction of his peers for a change.

While Eisenberg and Ansari play their roles well and provide some laughs, the true comedic stars are McBride and Swarsdon.

He’s brash, arrogant for no reason, vulgar, and obviously unaware of just how big an idiot he actually is, but he’s hilarious the entire time.

McBride is his usual self, the most recent incarnation of Will Ferrell in comedy – the guy who plays the same role in every movie (or show, for those fans of Eastbound and Down out there), but is so funny doing it that viewers don’t care. He’s brash, arrogant for no reason, vulgar, and obviously unaware of just how big an idiot he actually is, but he’s hilarious the entire time. The time will come, probably soon, that people will be over him and move onto the next comedian of his niche, but until then he’s the top of the heap for this type of one-dimensional hilarity.

Swarsdon does a solid job as his sidekick, a sort of idiot savant who can’t seem to get anything right outside of building explosive devices in a garage. It could be argued, in fact, that some of the funnier lines in the movie come from him. Unfortunately any goodwill he’s banked from this performance is soon to go up in smoke with the release of Bucky Larson, an early favorite to dominate the Razzie Awards, one would have to think.

The main issue with the film is Ansari, who is at times so manic that it’s abrasive. He has his moments, but most of his time is spent trying too hard to deliver his lines with a witty snap. He doesn’t always fail, but he’s often irritating in trying to prove himself as the next sharp tongue in Hollywood. Still, he’s not nearly detrimental enough to effect the overall enjoyment of the movie.

As stated earlier, there isn’t anything I’d tell you here that you can’t put together from the trailer. If you like any of the actors on the marquee or like stupid comedy with plenty of vulgarity, this is your type of movie. It’s not the best of its kind, it’s not the worst, it’s just a pretty funny movie that you won’t regret checking out if you’re in it for the right reasons.

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