Movie Review: 30 Minutes or Less

The director of Zombieland, Ruben Fleischer, returns with 30 Minutes or Less a film that comes closer to Pineapple Express than anything undead. While this time around we are missing the big B.M. that doesn’t mean you should over look 30 Minutes or Less. Yes, its crude and it may leave a few plot holes, but it does manage to be entertaining. If you’re looking for more than an excuse to kill some time you may want to look elsewhere. The film won’t have you quoting it for days or drastically make you rethink your life, but it does offer a good time.

The plot is simple and if you over think it you may want to reconsider seeing the film. In 30 Minutes or Less we are thrust into the life of Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) a slacker pizza boy who is forced into robbing a bank by two men in monkey suits. These undercover primates strap a bomb to Nick’s chest and tell him he has to get them 100,000 dollars or he will become Jackson Pollock’s next masterpiece. With this sudden sense of urgency Nick runs to his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) for help and armed with plastic guns they set out to rob their small town bank. Throw in some frantic car chases and the comedy stylings of  Danny McBride and you have 30 Minutes or Less.

While the story itself is a little shallow the amount of shear entertainment provided by the cast more than saves the film from being a total bust. Fresh off his Oscar nominated performance as the founder of Facebook, Jesse Eisenberg is ready to put his dry humor back to the test. If you’re not a fan of his socially awkward comedy then this film won’t change your mind. In fact if you’re not a fan of Eisenberg you may want to steer clear of the film all together, as Eisenberg is much more in your face than he ever was in Zombieland.  While most can’t handle a prolonged moment with this style of humor, I find it the most enjoyable. Rather than constantly bombard you with attempts to one up his co-stars Eisenberg comes into his own embracing his awkwardness, really placing a stamp on his brand of comedy. That says a lot about Eisenberg’s ability as his co-stars can almost guarantee comic gold.

Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Aziz Ansari are no strangers to this brand of comedy, and are all looking to become the next Seth Rogen. While McBride has found success as HBO’s loud mouth MLB failure he still finds himself in the passenger seat climatically. Sadly in 30 Minutes or Less he doesn’t add anything to his resume that would make you think he deserves more. Yes, McBride has a comic talent I just don’t think that it’s the right style to carry a film. In many ways this goes for all the supporting cast, alone they’re over the top actions can become overbearing, but together it works. While I don’t see any of the three getting any shoulder room on their next release’s poster art, they can always find the right timing as an ensemble. Between the three you will receive all the dick and fart jokes you can bear, with a minimal amount of eye-rolling enjoyment.  Throw in some car chases and you get that good old 80’s buddy movie feel.

Just like Pineapple Express, 30 Minutes or Less brings back memories of Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold. While the film never reaches the status of Beverly Hills Cop it has enough flair to hold it’s own. The film is never great or in the same vein unwatchable, it’s just fun. You won’t be running to throw this film into your collection come time for it’s home release. Hell, you may not even talk about it ever again after the car ride home, but you won’t leave the theater feeling like you just wasted precious moments of your life. So, if you’re looking for moments of fun and you have already seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes I would say you should see 30 Minutes or Less; just don’t expect it to make your end of year’s best list.

I give 30 Minutes or Less 3 “salty kisses” out of 5

by Ryan Davis



About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

Follow Ryan Here: