Business rating: 1/5 star
Star cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, Dilshad Vadsaria, Michael Peña, Bianca Kajlich, Fred Ward.
What’s Good: Some of the comedy; Aziz Ansari’s dialogues.
What’s Bad: The plot seems too convoluted; the loose screenplay; there are just not enough laughs.
Verdict: 30 Minutes Or Less will not be able to keep the audience engrossed for too long.
Loo break: Not really.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for Aziz Ansari’s comedy.
Columbia Pictures & Red Hour Films’ 30 Minutes Or Less is a comedy about a pizza delivery boy who has to rob a bank before the bomb strapped to him explodes. Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) hates every aspect of his job of driving around town at breakneck speed and ending up with miserly customers who don’t want to pay for their pizzas. When he finds out that his girlfriend, Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria), is moving away, he tries to sabotage her plans by ratting to her brother, Chet (Aziz Ansari), who is also Nick’s best friend. However, Chet and Nick end up fighting.
On the other hand, the bumbling alpha-male, Dwayne (Danny McBride), has had enough of living off his father, The Major (Fred Ward). He and his friend, Travis (Nick Swardson), plot to kill The Major and live off his inheritance. Since Dwayne and Travis don’t want the blood on their hands or blame on their heads, they plan to hire a hit-man to bump off the veteran for them. Furthermore, they decide to get someone to rob a bank for them so that they can pay the assassin.
As part of the plan, they order a pizza and kidnap Nick when he arrives to make the delivery. Their instructions are clear: Nick, who has been duly strapped with a bomb, has to rob a bank within 10 hours and hand over $100,000 to them or he will be blown to smithereens. Scared out of his wits, Nick begs Chet for help and they plot to rob their neighbourhood bank without getting killed by the cops or blown up by the bomb.
Will Nick and Chet manage to rob the bank without getting killed? Will the trigger-happy Dwayne cut off the loose end, Nick, as soon as he gets his money?
30 Minutes Or Less Review – Script Analysis
Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan’s story is okay. Though the premise sounds good, the screenplay, by Michael Diliberti, seems stretched. While the movie does have its comic moments, most of them go to Chet, Dwayne and Travis. Overall, the laughs are few and far between.
It is Dwayne and Travis’ far-fetched plan to bump off The Major that makes the least sense. Under any circumstances, The Major’s death would immediately put Dwayne as the main suspect as he is a lazy, unemployed guy and makes no bones about hating his father. That aside, Dwayne could easily have thought of some other way to get the money than to strap a bomb to a guy and get him to hold up a bank!
30 Minutes Or Less Review – Star Performances
Jesse Eisenberg is good as the scared-witless delivery boy. Danny McBride and Nick are funny as the squabbling duo. Aziz Ansari is excellent as Jesse’s sidekick. While most people may be used to seeing Aziz Ansari as the quirky Tom Haverford in the television series, ‘Parks And Recreation’, he is just as good on the big screen as well. Dilshad Vadsaria and Bianca Kajlich (as Juicy) are okay. Michael Peña and Fred Ward are good in their brief roles.
30 Minutes Or Less Review – Direction & Music
Ruben Fleischer’s direction is the best he could have done with this script. He just about manages to keep the film interesting. Ludwig Goransson’s music is okay. Jess Hall’s cinematography is fine. Editing, by Alan Baumgarten, is crisp.
30 Minutes Or Less Review – Verdict
On the whole, 30 Minutes Or Less is a good movie, but it could have done with many more laughs.