Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Films: 30 Minutes or Less

30 Minutes or Less
Reviewer: Wally
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Released: 16th September 2011
Rating: 15
Popcorns: 2.5/5

Two fledgling criminals kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest, and inform him that he has mere hours to rob a bank or else...

After watching the trailer about four times before I went to see 30 Minutes or Less, I was pretty pumped going in, expecting a lot of laughs and great acting. I got neither!

The movie focuses on two roommates, Eisenberg and Ansari, going through a tough time in their relationship and two self confessed “entrepreneurials”, played by Danny McBride and Nick Swardson, who are actually just idiots that listen to ICP and think up mad schemes to make a quick buck.

Their latest idea consists of kidnapping someone to rob a bank, to get $100,000 to hire a hitman to kill Dwayne’s father, who has about $1,000,000 left of his lottery winnings, which would then go to Dwayne.
The aforementioned kidnapee is Nick, a pizza delivery guy out for an easy life and in love with his best friend Chet’s sister. I’m really not giving anything away by saying that he gets a bomb strapped to him by Dwayne and Travis and is forced to rob a bank to help them on their way in their master plan.

As you can probably tell from my summary, the storyline is absolutely all over the place and this really does reflect in the script. The best lines have been given to Aziz Ansari, who seems to deliver them by just shouting at people when he’s supposed to be saying something funny. I’m not sure how this guy keeps getting cast in things?!
Another point that needs to be addressed is how on earth are these baffoons smart enough to make such a complex bomb vest? Surely if they added that to their CVs, they’d be able to get some sort of job in electronics, or even bomb defusal. They’re just not working to their strengths.

Danny McBride was pretty funny, as always and Jesse Eisenberg was his usual, subtly funny, self. He seems to have found his style and is sticking with it. No complaints from me, as I’m a fan of the Michael Cera ‘awkward’ acting.

The title 30 Minutes or Less only really comes into play for the first part of the film, which really has no effect on the storyline. The only thing it shows is that he’s a good/questionable driver.
This brings me onto the car chases, which were pretty immense and really well filmed. A lot of nice editing and great stunts made these the highlight of the film for me.
Another plus point is the music throughout the film. It has a brilliant soundtrack consisting of tracks from The Beastie Boys, The Hives and even a little Ol’ Dirty bastard thrown in there for good measure.

The marketing team has done a fantastic job and I’m sure there will be bums on seats for this one. The trailer certainly makes it out to be a lot funnier than it is, there’s a slick poster and with Eisenberg’s face and ‘From the Director of Zombieland’ scrawled on there, I’m pretty sure this will be a hit at the box office.

Ruben Fleischer, who directed Zombieland (funnily enough), which was one of my personal favourite films of 2009, has made a film this time around that won’t even touch my top 20 of 2011. Comparing it to Zombieland is a travesty, as it’s not even in the same ball park.

That said, my wife, sister in-law and best mate all seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, so maybe the film is perfectly fine and it’s just me being a grump. I guess you’ll just have to decide for yourself and fork out a nice crisp £10 note for the pleasure. You don’t get much film for your money either, at a measly 83mins long. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!


  1. I missed the screenings of this one, not in my area.

    But to be honest I haven't been bothered about it since seeing the first trailer and clip at Big Screen.

    Great write up, but there are better films coming out this weekend and next for us to get our teeth into!!

    Good job matey

  2. Nice review there, I was underwhelmed by the whole thing and didn't really work for me. The chases were decent but during a late one, the cars were only going about 20mph.. Now I am just being picky =P