Published Aug 11, 2011I've decided that, in the spirit of the title of this film, I'm going to dedicate no more than 30 minutes to writing this review. In actuality, my decision has very little to do with the title. I don't want to dedicate any more time than this to Ruben Fleischer's (Zombieland) second full-length because 30 Minutes or Less plays out like he didn't spend any more time than that on it either.
First of all, the title itself has nothing to do with this movie. Nick (Jesse Eisenberg, looking particularly pale) is a pizza delivery man-child who never meets his "30 minutes or it's free" guarantee. He gets jumped by a couple of wannabe thugs (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) in ape masks and when he wakes up, he has a bomb strapped to his chest. He must then rob a bank and bring back 100-grand to them so that they can in turn pay a hit man (Michael Pena) to kill one of the thug's controlling fathers (Fred Ward).
You would think he would have all of 30 minutes to accomplish this task but, really, he has ten hours. The suspense is pretty much cut out of this picture right there. Nick is joined by reluctant best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) and they get to work through their growing pains together while they bond over this experience.
The cast is solid – Ansari's deadpan delivery is always brilliant and McBride redeems himself after his disastrous turn in Your Highness – but their random moments of mild hilarity aren't enough to make up for how paper-thin and half-assed this film is.
Essentially, 30 Minutes or Less will be forgotten just as quickly. (Sony)