30 Minutes Or Less (2011)

August 05, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

30 Minutes Or Less is the bomb. Ruben Fleischer’s feature film debut, Zombieland, was comedy gold from a critical standpoint and this film proves that he’s no sophomore slump. Starring a stellar cast of comedic talent, working form a great script, and being directed by the very capable Fleischer, 30 Minutes or Less is a comedic ab-workout.

Director Fleischer doesn’t disappoint at all, as this film has the balls to spark great comedy and a break-neck pace once the characters hit the point of no return. The lines are quotable, as you’ll add “tanning Glover” to your vocabulary and laugh at awkward ways to use the “that’s what she said” line. Screenwriters Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan craft a script that is sharp, funny and memorable. There’s also enough character development in the film to have the audience actually care for the characters, and makes them rather likable. In addition to the comedy, the film is packed with crazy action, from chases, to pen-guns, to guns, flame-throwers and of course a bomb explosion.

Jesse Eisenberg plays Nick, a pizza-boy that would probably fit in with Randal and Dante from Clerks. He’s completely idle and has no ambitions in life, until he only has 10 hours to live before blowing sky high. Eisenberg is fantastic, as he escapes that “socially awkward” character he does, playing someone that is unmotivated until opportunity’s cock smacks him in the face. Aziz Ansari, playing a school-teacher named Chet, is arguably the best character in the film. Ansari is panicky and totally blunt, as he is risking his stable life for his underachieving best friend. Chet comes out with the best lines, and is on another level once him and Nick plan and execute the bank robbery. Danny McBride, playing Dwayne, does his usual McBride thing, being a self-centered, funny-as-hell prick.

30 Minutes Or Less is the comedy that will probably draw the most laughs this summer, so its definitely one not to miss. The cast is on point, the pace is brisk, and the scenes are memorable. It teaches us that, in the right situations, getting high, watching action films all day and being a pizza boy isn’t a waste of time if the attributes gained from doing all that is used in the right situation (like robbing a bank with a bomb strapped to your chest). If you’re looking for a kick-back, stoner film, this is the summer champ of that.

Potential Drawbacks:

Some may think that the film is too short, but the short run-actually works for the film. Others think it’s not short enough and it drags.  The characters aren’t cardboard cutouts, but they are barely past one-dimensional. Perhaps with a few extra minutes on the run-time, some may think that the characters could’ve been built a tiny bit better.

Some may connect this film to the real-life incident that supposedly inspired the film, and may be offended.

Film Recommendations:

Pineapple Express
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle


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