You’ll Wish ’30 Minutes or Less’ Took It’s Name Literally
30 Minutes or Less is the worst kind of comedy, one that abandons all direction and believability and relies on it’s B-list comedy stars to carry it, a task none of them are up for. The previews for the movie explain the plot just as well as the film itself does. Jesse Eisenberg stars as a pizza delivery boy who gets kidnapped by Danny McBride and Nick Swardson who strap a bomb on him and threaten to detonate it unless he robs a bank for them. So Eisenberg enlists his friend Aziz Ansari to help him.
Something like this should either be exciting or funny and it was neither. The plot is so poorly handled and way too convoluted for this type of movie. Not one event has any true emotional resonance, and I don’t mean just in terms of drama, we don’t care about the characters or the events enough to even laugh at them. The movie never sets up funny circumstances, it sets up circumstances and assumes people will laugh at the comedic stars acting around them. The story simply isn’t funny when it could have been. Perhaps this movie would have worked better with a darker tone rather than a silly one.
As far as acting goes Jesse Eisenberg appears to be trying too hard for either laughs or a connection with the audience, it’s hard to tell. Danny McBride and Nick Swardson have no chemistry and fail to deliver a single laugh throughout the whole movie. Michael Pena is wasted in his small role. The one saving grace is Aziz Ansari who uses the same signature style of delivery as he does in his stand-up. He delivers virtually every funny line in the movie. I usually find him annoying but he proved his worth in that when everything around him is so terrible he can still manage to be slightly funny.
However, Ansari is unfortunately the only person who worked on this film who at least partially succeeds. The movie is boring, and only has enough jokes to make up a half an hour television show, making the title something of a misdirection of what the movie should have been. (* out of 4)
photo credit: http://www.freepresshouston.com/film/30-minutes-or-less/