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Review: 30 Minutes Or Less

Aug. 12, 2011by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: Dwayne (Danny McBride) is a thirtysomething slacker, itching to get his hands on inheritance money from his wealthy father (Fred Ward). He hires a hitman, Chongo (Michael Pena) to do away with his Dad, but doesnt have the $100,000 needed for the contract. To that end, he and his best buddy, Travis (Nick Swardson), an explosives expert, kidnap a pizza delivery boy, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), and outfit him with an explosive vest set to go off if he doesnt rob a bank and get them their money. Having no choice but to do as they say, Nick enlists the help of his friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) in order to knock-off the bank and get the vest deactivated.

REVIEW: Man, do I ever hate it when a film Im looking forward to ends up being a dud, especially when its packed with so much talent. 30 MINUTES OR LESS really should have been a fun flick. Its from the director of ZOMBIELAND, Ruben Fleisher (making a quick stop-over before taking a stab at the A-list with GANGSTER SQUAD), stars Jesse Eisenberg, one of my favorite up and comers (brilliant in THE SOCIAL NETWORK, THE SQUID & THE WHALE, and hilarious in ZOMBIELAND & ADVENTURELAND), and the great Aziz Ansari, who rocks NBCs "Parks and Recreation" each and every week. This should have been awesome.


Sadly, its not. Its sad watching 30 MINUTES OR LESS knowing that the same director brought us ZOMBIELAND, as this lacks all the flair behind the camera, and energy that made that film so effective. Eisenberg and Ansari cant really be faulted here, as whatever laughs 30 MINUTES OR LESS offers comes from them, particularly their early pre-bomb scenes, where the two argue over the knowledge that Nick deflowered Chets hot twin sister (the very likable Dilshad Vadsaria), while watching DIE HARD. Michael Pena also nails his part as the low-rent hitman, although he seems to be playing the same (funny) role he played in the underrated OBSERVE & REPORT.


The film goes awry once McBride and Swardson enter the plot, and alas, theyre my big problem with the flick. I like McBride a lot, but other than a gem of a role in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, & FOOT FIST WAY, he hasnt really been well-served by films. Thats not for any lack of talent, as a quick look as EASTBOUND & DOWN proves the guys funny as hell, but sadly, things just havent clicked for him on the big screen yet. His annoying, douchebaggy character in 30 MINUTES OR LESS is no exception. He probably would have been fine in it had it been a supporting role, but for some reason hes made the co-lead with Eisenberg, which is a mistake as a little of this kind of character goes a long way.

As for Swardson, hes funny as McBrides good-natured (if half-crazed) partner in crime, but again, they try to wring too many laughs out of a guy that should have been used sparingly. Considering the 80-minute running time, the time should have been spent on Eisenberg and Ansari, but instead they come off as supporting characters in their own movie!


The only time 30 MINUTES OR LESS really comes to life is during the big car chase set piece, which happens about forty minutes in. Its here that the guy who directed ZOMBIELAND really makes his talent show, although, I think it was a mistake to have Glenn Freys The Heat Is On in this scene, as that happens to be the theme song to one of the greatest action-comedies of all-time (BEVERLY HILLS COP yo!), and once it started pumping, I was thinking to myself, damn, I need to pop that DVD in when I get home, rather than enjoying the film for what it is.

The absolute worst thing about the movie is the ending, or complete lack of one, as it ends with almost no resolution, an a bunch of hanging plot threads that at best, are sloppy, and at worst, insulting to the audiences intelligence.

Its really too bad 30 MINUTES OR LESS turned out to be a dud, as there was a lot of potential there, and at times it comes frustratingly close to being a good film. Too bad, although I have faith that well be seeing a lot better from all involved before long. Call this an honest misfire.

Source: JoBlo.com

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7:22AM on 08/14/2011

If you saw the trailer, then the first 30 minutes (ironically) is really boring.

The actual robbery is awesome and the scene after is fantastic. But that's it. The movies suffers from a lot of problems the biggest being that Danny McBride is never taken as a serious villain. Which is sad because I love that guy.
The actual robbery is awesome and the scene after is fantastic. But that's it. The movies suffers from a lot of problems the biggest being that Danny McBride is never taken as a serious villain. Which is sad because I love that guy.
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11:31PM on 08/13/2011
Loved the flick. Every minute of it. Don't get the bad buzz... it was so funny.
Loved the flick. Every minute of it. Don't get the bad buzz... it was so funny.
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4:35PM on 08/13/2011

Pretty Funny Movie

I thought the movie was very funny. Yeah, I wasn't a fan of the ending but overall I thought the movie was hilarious. Aziz Ansari got a bit annoying as the movie went on, but Jesse Eisenberg is awesome.
I thought the movie was very funny. Yeah, I wasn't a fan of the ending but overall I thought the movie was hilarious. Aziz Ansari got a bit annoying as the movie went on, but Jesse Eisenberg is awesome.
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9:23AM on 08/13/2011
Such a let down. Is it bad that I thought the funniest part was McBrides Metallica shirt and his ringtone? But how can you not acknowledge McBride in Your Highness? Its one of the funniest movies I've watched in the last year.
Such a let down. Is it bad that I thought the funniest part was McBrides Metallica shirt and his ringtone? But how can you not acknowledge McBride in Your Highness? Its one of the funniest movies I've watched in the last year.
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1:13AM on 08/13/2011
I completely agree with your rating, but did not like the film for other reasons. You have completely left out the fact that this premise is based off of real events.

[link]
I completely agree with your rating, but did not like the film for other reasons. You have completely left out the fact that this premise is based off of real events.

[link]
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9:20PM on 08/12/2011
Ya i lost interest in the film once i heard its a tad over 80 mins, who would pay $12 bucks for such a short movie, i'll wait for redbox thanks. I do agree about the movie using a theme song from another film, but if ya wanna get technical the theme song for BHC is Axel F, but no doubt once The Heat is ON comes on ya wanna watch it.
Ya i lost interest in the film once i heard its a tad over 80 mins, who would pay $12 bucks for such a short movie, i'll wait for redbox thanks. I do agree about the movie using a theme song from another film, but if ya wanna get technical the theme song for BHC is Axel F, but no doubt once The Heat is ON comes on ya wanna watch it.
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6:57PM on 08/12/2011
Every review I've read for this movie, good or bad, has talked about the abrupt ending being an issue. This has been a tough year for Chris Bumbray and the fans of joblo, even I have ben guilty at criticizing the dude for not liking something I enjoyed (Green Lantern) and loving something I loathed (Transformers 3). The thing is, this year is insanely mediocre for blockbuster movies and mediocre movies create polarizing views, either people over compensate by liking them way too much or grade
Every review I've read for this movie, good or bad, has talked about the abrupt ending being an issue. This has been a tough year for Chris Bumbray and the fans of joblo, even I have ben guilty at criticizing the dude for not liking something I enjoyed (Green Lantern) and loving something I loathed (Transformers 3). The thing is, this year is insanely mediocre for blockbuster movies and mediocre movies create polarizing views, either people over compensate by liking them way too much or grade them tougher because they're so middle of the road and it might be easier to talk about what doesn't work instead of what kinda sorta does. Chris endeared me with his guest stints on the Joblo podcast, he seems like a good guy who genuinely loves movies. I may not always agree with him but his opinion is definitely a well informed non malicious one.
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3:38PM on 08/12/2011

People....chill....

It's a review. It's someone's thoughts on the movie. If you have a different opinion, good for you. No need to bash.
It's a review. It's someone's thoughts on the movie. If you have a different opinion, good for you. No need to bash.
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2:45PM on 08/12/2011

Don't Listen to Critics/Reviewers

I totally disagree with this review. This was a fun movie that my wife and I completely enjoyed. I'm glad I don't hold reviewers or critics opinion in high regard.
I totally disagree with this review. This was a fun movie that my wife and I completely enjoyed. I'm glad I don't hold reviewers or critics opinion in high regard.
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2:07PM on 08/12/2011
This was hilarious. By far the funniest movie of the summer.
This was hilarious. By far the funniest movie of the summer.
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1:48PM on 08/12/2011
I was afraid they showed too much on the trailers. I dont let reviews dictate my choice in films but this actually helped me decide whether I should watch this or Apes this weekend.
I was afraid they showed too much on the trailers. I dont let reviews dictate my choice in films but this actually helped me decide whether I should watch this or Apes this weekend.
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1:42PM on 08/12/2011
Im going to see this. IGN gave it a four out of five. and 77% of users enjoyed it over at rottentomatoes(i don't trust their critic aggregate)
Im going to see this. IGN gave it a four out of five. and 77% of users enjoyed it over at rottentomatoes(i don't trust their critic aggregate)
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11:23AM on 08/12/2011

This post needs some green...

Still looking forward to seeing it. Long-live Tallahassee!
Still looking forward to seeing it. Long-live Tallahassee!
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10:57AM on 08/12/2011
You're the man CB, but I thought this was really funny. It's slight, but quick paced and consistent with the laughs. And any movie with Michael Pena casually dropping the Konami Code gets my affection.
You're the man CB, but I thought this was really funny. It's slight, but quick paced and consistent with the laughs. And any movie with Michael Pena casually dropping the Konami Code gets my affection.
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9:43AM on 08/12/2011
What plot threads are left open? I thought the film did a great job wrapping everything up in a succinct and amusing fashion.
What plot threads are left open? I thought the film did a great job wrapping everything up in a succinct and amusing fashion.
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+1
9:14AM on 08/12/2011
I liked it... one of the better Rated-R comedies I've seen this year. I don't like Zombieland, though, so I guess that can be taken in to account. This is actually the first time I've found Asari funny. I liked that McBride was given a lot of screentime, though his "potty mouth" could have been toned down a bit... it gets excessive at a point. Pea is uproarious (haven't seen O&R). I also thought it was hilarious that they were so referential to '80s buddy cop flicks like Beverly Hills Cop and
I liked it... one of the better Rated-R comedies I've seen this year. I don't like Zombieland, though, so I guess that can be taken in to account. This is actually the first time I've found Asari funny. I liked that McBride was given a lot of screentime, though his "potty mouth" could have been toned down a bit... it gets excessive at a point. Pea is uproarious (haven't seen O&R). I also thought it was hilarious that they were so referential to '80s buddy cop flicks like Beverly Hills Cop and I loved that the chase was set to "The Heat is On". As for the ending... I mean, yeah, there are loose threads... but at the end of the day all that's happened is so inconsequential (with the exception of what surprisingly happens to certain characters, I guess, to put it in a sorta non-spoilery way) that I'm not worried about hanging threads. So... yeah, it's a good time... a solid rental, if you ask me. And I loved that McBride was wearing the official "Friday the 13th: Part 3" anaglyph glasses instead of some lame, generic prop. Awesome.
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+6
8:56AM on 08/12/2011
Wow. I completely disagree. I found the movie quite funny and never felt like Eisenberg and Ansari came off as supporting characters. It's not as good as Zombieland, but definitely still worth seeing. Here's my full review:

[link]
Wow. I completely disagree. I found the movie quite funny and never felt like Eisenberg and Ansari came off as supporting characters. It's not as good as Zombieland, but definitely still worth seeing. Here's my full review:

[link]
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8:49AM on 08/12/2011
Well somehow i knew this film wasnt going to be that great. Add it to the already large list of comedic disappointments this summer. Honestly i like McBride but he plays the same ole shtick in all of his recent films. Oh im loud and obnoxious and make up new dirty words about butt fucking a lot. Hes been playing that role ever since after his sucess with Pineapple express. Hes ok in Your Highness but it still got annoying every now and then. He seems to be acting as the same character a lot.
Well somehow i knew this film wasnt going to be that great. Add it to the already large list of comedic disappointments this summer. Honestly i like McBride but he plays the same ole shtick in all of his recent films. Oh im loud and obnoxious and make up new dirty words about butt fucking a lot. Hes been playing that role ever since after his sucess with Pineapple express. Hes ok in Your Highness but it still got annoying every now and then. He seems to be acting as the same character a lot.
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