30 Minutes Or Less opens with a great car chase, the chase being Nick (Jessie Eisenberg) racing against time to deliver a pizza in 30 minutes or less. That is followed by Nick outsmarting some punk kids. It’s a strong opening scene. Sadly, most of the rest of the film isn’t nearly as strong.
Nick has a dead-end job as a pizza delivery boy, an ex-best friend (Aziz Ansari) and a girl (Dilshad Vadsaria) that he loves but who’s moving away. His life couldn’t get much worse. That is until he’s kidnapped by nut jobs, Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson), strapped with an explosive vest and forced to rob a bank. Dwayne and Travis need $100,000 to pay a hitman (Michael Pena) to kill Dwayne’s jerk dad (Fred Ward). What follows is a roller coaster ride of a comedy.
By “roller coaster” I refer to the quality of the film. There quite a few entertaining moments, but those are broken up by too many scenes that drag on just a little too long. The acting is pretty strong across the board and the scenes that work work really well, but the ones that don’t fall flat. Even at the short running time of 80 minutes the film feels like drags from start to finish.
Luckily, the ending properly cranks things up to eleven and 30 Minutes Or Less goes out on a high note leaving you overall pleased with the time you spent with it. Ultimately, though, this movie is mostly forgettable, not having enough humor to be a strong comedy nor enough action to be a strong action film.
Ruben Fleischer did a great job blending genre’s with Zombieland and Jesse Eisenberg showed how well he can carry a comedic movie. But somehow there talents don’t add up here. It’s still an entertaining movie, but not nearly as memorable.
The film is presented in 2.40:1 Anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital. This is a pretty good looking film. The transfer is fine and the audio is mixed well too. The music and explosions and such never drown out the dialog.
Blowing Up with the Cast and Crew: (14 min.) Pretty typical making of, all lot of talking about how great everyone else is, but it’s still pretty entertaining as a far as these go. Outtakes: (6 min.) This film is mostly ad-libbed and these outtakes show off some funny stuff that didn’t make it into the film. Deleted Scenes: (12 min.) Most of these are okay, but it’s obvious why all of these were deleted.
30 Minutes Or Less really has some solid moments. If the middle of the film were as strong as the beginning and the ending it could have a been a really great action/comedy. Still, it’s probably worth a rent… and stick it out until the end of the credits for one last joke.
Columbia Pictures presents 30 Minutes Or Less. Directed by: Ruben Fleischer. Written by: Michael Dilberti. Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Fred Ward, Michael Pena and Dilshad Vadsaria. Running time: 83 min. Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence. Released on DVD: November 29, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.