30 Minutes or Less Review

Title: 30 Minutes or Less
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg,
Danny McBride,
Aziz Ansari,
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 1 Hours 35 mins
Music: Nathan Barr
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Certificate: US: R
UK: 15
Release Date: US: Aug 12 2011
UK: Sep 16 2011
See If You Like: Pineapple Express,
Your Highness,

Based on an idea that wouldn’t be out of place in a hard-hitting action/thriller, 30 Minutes or Less is a comedy about a man with a ticking bomb strapped to his chest, who’s forced to rob a bank, yet it somehow manages to stay surprisingly funny throughout.

Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) stars as the aforementioned man; a whiney little pizza delivery guy who simply lives to get stoned, drink beer, and swoon over his best mate’s twin sister; and finds himself tasked with robbing the bank (in the 10 hours before he blows up) after two guys jump him, and threaten to blow him up, so they won’t have to do the deed themselves.

Along the way the pizza-delivering stoner ropes his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari, Funny People) into helping him, and the pair (which now consist of a pizza boy and a schoolteacher) have to try and devise a means of getting away with a bank robbery, disguising themselves, escaping the cops, and making sure the bad guys actually remove the bomb vest; which, for two regular guys, proves to be a bit of a task, and leads to some rather amusing results.

30 Minutes or Less is at its funniest when showcasing the two friends exchanging banter with one another, and bumbling their way through their various criminal exploits (where there are plenty of funny one-liners), but also feels just a little disjointed, and tends to run into unnecessary dick-joke territory whenever bad-guy Danny McBride (Your Highness) is onscreen.

As far as the cast goes, the actors all serve the movie well enough, with Jesse Eisenberg being a funny and well placed lead (though he does take the news of his predicament unbelievably well), Aziz Ansari being very funny as his best friend/sidekick, and Danny McBride being totally believable, and somewhat amusing, as a lazy, sex and money obsessed, douche-bag.

Direction is nothing special, the jokes are average, and overall there’s little to make 30 Minutes or Less stand out from the crowd (especially with the number of very funny comedies that have already been released this year), but there’s no denying that it will give most filmgoers a handful of laughs, and that anyone who liked Pineapple Express is going to love this. Amusing – yes. Brilliant – no. 30 Minutes or Less is one film you may be better off renting; if you like a laugh, but aren’t a die-hard fan of stoner comedies.

Matt Wheeldon.

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Ratings 05

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Matt Wheeldon is the Founder, and Editor in Chief of Good Film Guide. He still refers to the cinema as "the pictures", and has what some would describe as a misguided appreciation for Waterworld.