30 Minutes or Less (15)
Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5Rate this
Time Out says
Tue Sep 13 2011Glora Swanson was right. The pictures did get small. ‘30 Minutes or Less’ is a short, sharp and disposable comedy from Ruben Fleischer, the director behind 2009’s short, sharp and utterly disposable ‘Zombieland’. Jesse Eisenberg plays entirely to type (no bad thing) as rebellious, smart-alec pizza delivery boy Nick who gets tangled up in a zany shakedown whereby Danny McBride’s murderous blockhead Dwayne is trying to get his sweaty paws on his father’s fortune. So Nick is kidnapped by Dwayne, has a homemade bomb strapped to his chest and is ordered to rob the local bank to get money to pay an assassin…
It’s very, very silly. But the lunacy of the plot is softened by the cranky repartee between Dwayne and his dimwitted, flame-thrower-brandishing sidekick, Travis (Nick Swardson), and Nick and his old college buddy turned accomplice, Chet (Aziz Ansari). The highlight of the entire film is an extraneous argument between Nick and Chet where they viciously trump one another by blurting out foul deeds they’ve committed in the past.
As throwaway as it all is, there are a few neat touches that should prove diverting to enthusiasts of 1980s Hollywood cinema: Nick hurtles around in a similar crappy blue Chevy Nova to the one Axel Foley drives in ‘Beverly Hills Cop’, while the entire bomb plot is a feature-length riff on the iconic exploding-toilet scene from ‘Lethal Weapon 2’. It’s funny, clever and pacy to a fault, and the script more than satisfies its quota of decent zings. By all means, head along if you require some in-the-moment laughter therapy, but the title also refers to how long it’ll remain in your memory after it’s all done.
Author: David Jenkins