Netflix UK film review: 30 Minutes or Less
Andrew Jones | On 07, Mar 2014
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Brett Gelman, Danny McBride, Michael Peña, Aziz Ansari
Watch 30 Minutes or Less online: Netflix UK
After Zombieland was a hit, director Ruben Fleischer and star Jesse Eisenberg made a second goofy film together. The results didn’t light the world on fire like the zombie horror spoof, but 30 Minutes Or Less is a genuinely funny high-concept slacker comedy that never lets up, yet never feels rushed.
Eisenberg is Nick, a mid-20s pizza boy who drives like mad to beat the 30 minutes or less time limit for each delivery, a staple of his boss’ (Brett Gelman) pizza place, but when two aspirational dimwits (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) plot to take out the wealthy (and angry) father of McBride’s dullard, a series of events leads to Nick making the worst pizza run of his possibly short life.
Nick wakes up to find a bomb strapped to his chest and only 10 hours to rob a bank or get a lot of money, so the two men can pay for a hitman (Michael Peña), as recommended by an opportunistic stripper (Bianca Kajlich), to kill The Major (Fred Ward). Meanwhile, Nick is having a fight with his best friend and roommate, Chet (Aziz Ansari), who refuses to grow up but is roped into the heist antics anyway.
It’s a lot of plot, told with a slick pace but never stopping the cast from bringing their own gems to each exchange. It’s a fine line the film walks, especially since so many of the characters are half-likeable and yet entirely awful at the same time. McBride and Swardson are a great duo, vulgar idiots who talk so much rubbish but never act on it, while Eisenberg and Ansari deal with things in a suitably realistic way. Peña is just an absolute hoot, still one of the most enjoyable comic actors around.
As the film moves into the main heist, the house of cards falls down in hilarious and surprisingly effective ways. Unfairly ignored in a world of two hour comedies that don’t seem to do much or say anything worth quoting, 30 Minutes Or Less isn’t an all-time classic but it is a consistently entertaining escapade with a cracking third act and a great cast all game to play their parts properly. Well worth checking out.