Movie Review: 30 Minutes or Less – Starring Jesse Eisenberg & Aziz Ansari

30 Minutes or LessMovie: 30 Minutes or Less (R)
Release Date: August 12th, 2011
Watched On: August 3rd, 2011
Ticket Price: Press Screening
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, Dilshad Vadsaria & Michael Peña
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Runtime: 1 hr. 23 min.

Rating: Worth a Matinee –

Synopsis: A pizza delivery guy has a bomb strapped to him and is given eight hours to rob a bank or he will be no longer. He enlists his friend to help him plan and execute the bank robbery. The two have to overcome many obstacles in an attempt to save his life.

Review: 30 Minutes or Less is a very funny and well done buddy comedy. I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised. It was able to overcome three inherent problems that I had going in.

The first is not really its fault, as we’ve all been burned before all to often by the comedy that looks really funny in the trailer, but turns out to be less than so in the theater. That is not the case here, as not everything is given away in the trailers and ads. There are plenty of laughs to be had in the actual film.

Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Aziz Ansari (TV’s Parks & Recreation play very nicely off each other. The best example of this is the scene where their friendship is fractured early in the film. Ansari is very well suited to this type of role and is the standout here.

The second problem is that I’m not a big fan of feature length films with runtimes under 90 minutes. It usually means they didn’t have much of an idea to begin with and stretched it as far as they could. Here we are talking about 83 minutes and if you take out the credits, we’re under 80 minutes of actual movie entertainment. This is usually not good, but 30 Minutes or Less is the exception to the rule.

While I’m sure there will be an Unrated Extended Director’s Cut in our future, there doesn’t need to be. 30 Minutes or Less is a tight little comedy that keeps you laughing from beginning to end. Anything else could have come off as filler and would most likely caused the movie to drag. Also of note on the comedy front, very little is purely shock driven, which is the bane of many an R-rated comedy.

Lastly, it also stars Danny McBride (TV’s Eastbound & Down), who I don’t find particularly funny. He basically plays the same idiot in everything, but it actually works here. McBride and Nick Swardson (TV’s Reno 911!) also play off each other nicely, as the ne’er do wells with the messed up plan.

So, if you don’t have any of the same hang-ups, then you’ll be sure to enjoy 30 Minutes or Less. But, if you do, you can be confident that you will enjoy it too.

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Jason of New Movie Friday
1 comment… add one
  • Dan O. Aug 14, 2011, 12:36 am

    Nice Review! As R-rated comedies go, this one is modestly enjoyable but unremarkable, liable to be forgotten in, oh, say, a half hour or so. The cast is having fun and although the film is over in 1 hour and 23 minutes, you still have fun the whole time. Check out my review when you can!

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