Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Thursday, August 11, 2011

30 Minutes or Less

Waiting For The Delivery

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writers: Mihael Diliberti, Matthew Sullivan
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Aziz Ansari, Michael Peña

30 Minutes or Less movie image

SYNOPSIS: Two wannabe criminal masterminds kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest and order him to rob a bank for $100,000.

REVIEW: Ruben Fleischer, director or Zombieland, takes a script from relative scribe newcomers Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan to bring us a day in the life of an average pizza delivery guy Nick. Reteaming with his Zombieland star Jesse Eisenberg, Fleischer tries his hand at a more obvious, less subtle comedy.

Jesse Eisenberg stars as Nick, a snarky pizza delivery guy who endangers life, limb and a beat-up mustang to try and get the hot pepperoni pies to their final locations in, you guessed it, thirty minutes or less. Cut to a couple of wannabe criminal masterminds Dwayne (Danny McBride from Pineapple Express) and Travis (Nick Swardson from Comedy Central's Reno 911!) who realize that they want to get their hands on Dwayne's father's remaining lottery money. In order to get the money, lap dancer Juicy (Biana Kajlich from CBS's Rules of Engagement) plants the seed that Dwayne should have a professional assassin kill his father so he, and her, can get the money. Of course, a professional hitman costs $100,000 that Dwayne doesn't have in his wallet. Dwayne and Travis concoct a plan to build a bomb vest, lure a pizza delivery guy to a scrap yard location, knock him out, strap on the bomb, and set him out to rob a bank for the $100,000 within 10 hours before the bomb explodes on its own. Once the money exchanges hands then Dwayne and Travis would give Nick the code to disarm and disrobe the bomb vest. Enter Nick's friend Chet (Aziz Ansari from NBC's Parks & Recreation) who Nick seeks out to help him get out of the vest to no avail and then participate in the actual robbery.

Similar in feel to Zombieland without the heart that Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin brought to that film, 30 Minutes or Less is just a manic, 5-hour energy boost of a movie compressed into a hour and a half. Eisenberg is becoming the stoic straight-man caricature that he portrayed in The Social Network, Adventureland and Zombieland. Even Nicks's heartfelt 'final' goodbye to Chet's sister Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria) lacks any visual cues hinting at emotion. Maybe Eisenberg is getting the same roles, or maybe he needs to expand his facial expressions. Ansari brings his small screen mugging and outbursts perfected on Parks and Recreation to the role of Chet although the best scenes were already run through the movie's preview trailers. Danny McBride's Dwayne is classic McBride, full of venom, furrowed brows and bad judgements. Nick Swardson seems to be the most versatile as Dwayne's sidekick Travis, showing a little ingenuity and remorse. The breakout character is Michael Pena as Juicy's hitman boyfriend Chango. His off-beat gangster speech and mannerism provide the most laughs, along with Ansari's Chet.

Running at under one and a half hours, 30 Minutes or Less is a quick ride with a few potholes, a few blown lights and a few misses. We never find out what happens to Dwayne's father, The Major (Fred Ward) once Chango happens upon him. We have to suspend our disbelief much longer than usual to believe that Travis has the internet reading and general mechanical skills to create a stable bomb vest with a remote detonator, a countdown mechanism and loads of C4.

This film seems like a quick hit, but lacks the substance that will attract mass audiences greater than 18 to 25 year old males. Fleischer's Zombieland had laughs, action, and a solid cast and story. 30 Minutes or Less, with its great list of comedic actors, somehow just doesn't capitalize on itself, opting instead to deliver the goods after the time has expired.

WORTH: Matinee or Rental

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