30 Minutes Or Less – Review20.08.11 # Review # No Comment
Our 30 Minutes Or Less review.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Michael Peña
Release Date: UK – 16 October 2011 / US – Out Now
Director Ruben Fleischer opens 30 Minutes or Less with a pretty cool opening title sequence. ‘Tick Tick Boom’ by The Hives plays while a car races through a busy cityscape, barely avoiding accidents along the way. It’s a car chase without the chase, and it’s revisited later in a big way. That’s before the film even starts properly. When it does, we are introduced to two best friends: pizza delivery boy Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), whose company promises to deliver pizzas in 30 minutes or less, hence the title, and schoolteacher Chet (Aziz Ansari). It turns out that these best friends have been keeping a secret or two from one another – Nick is in love with Chet’s sister, among other things, and Chet is partially responsible for the divorce of Nick’s parents, indirectly ruining his entire life, among other things. These secrets are exposed in a comic flurry of confessions that sees their relationship disintegrate before our eyes. However, shortly after the pair part ways, Nick has a bomb strapped to him and is told that if he doesn’t rob a bank within 10 hours, the bomb will explode, resulting in him being dead. Insanely panicked, Nick turns to Chet for help, and we soon see that the damage to their relationship may only have been superficial.
It’s a tale of two bromances, as the story follows not only Nick and Chet trying to rob a bank whilst not dying in the process, but also the (I use the term loosely) masterminds behind the whole bomb/bank predicament, Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson). Whoever is responsible for lining up Eisenberg for the role of a guy who gets a bomb strapped to him made a winning decision right there, because if there’s one thing Eisenberg is good at, it’s playing nervous. His tangible anxiety and his chemistry with Ansari, who is funny pretty much every time he opens his mouth and a lot of the time when he doesn’t, makes for some seriously entertaining viewing, and the Dwayne and Travis side-story is really funny too. It also brings in an unhinged performance from Michael Pena as the hired gun.
30 Minutes or Less is well worth the 80 minutes or so runtime, it’s well paced, damn funny and a great showcase for a killer crop of talent.
Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Our Grade: B