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Thirty Minutes or Less
- Director: Ruben Fleischer
- Release Date: Aug 2011
- Run Time: 83
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Repeat the Lesson until You Learn Death's Rules
When Delivery Fails, It Should Be Free!
Well, the best of intentions litter the summer hybrid marketplace. “30 Minutes or Less” had potential to zap the audience with a comedically dark premise of a criminal caper lost to incompetent post-adolescent males not-quite-men.
The modern terrorist device du jour- the bomb vest- is not even enough to blow the audience out of its apathy with all of its promise to pull off a bank caper. Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland) is the slacker pizza delivery guy who gets roped into the desperation with a substitute teacher sidekick (Aziz Ansari). The two unlikely cons are doing the dirty work for two ingrates (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) who want to hire a hit man so they can scam an inheritance. Quite a feat to pull off; but, so was this movie. It was worth a try. IT just never really got there, despite being funny at times.
There is tension between the two best buddies even before they get hoodwinked into the criminal bank caper. Nick (Eisenberg) confesses to having schtupped his buddy’s twin sister, Kate, (Dilshad Vadsaria). Yet, Chet (Ansari), turns to Nick when he gets pinched to do the robbery by the even more desperate Travis and Dwayne in order to bump off Dwayne’s Marine Corp Pappy (Fred Ward).
All is fair in sex and crime. Somehow, the cast doesn’t gel enough to get the buy-in it needs to sell the desperation. I was left feeling that the pizza guy could just work a little harder and tell Dwayne to go pound sand. Chet isn’t believable when he tries to make the case that he has reached the pinnacle of his career in teaching as a substitute. He is inviting abuse when Dwayne and Travis come knocking. I guess that part is believable.
The setting for this film is adequately depressing. Grand Rapids has a lock on that honor. Nick is perfectly fit to disappoint as he has trouble pulling off the heist and living up to his pizza employer’s claim for prompt delivery service. No one seems to have a clue.
The real bad guys in the film, Dwayne and Travis, decide to off the Marine Corps Dad as a capper to their careers as TV watchers in Dad’s house. Go figure: Grand Rapids failed to inspire or motivate them to come up with a better plan to get Dad’s dinero!