30 Minutes or Less
Columbia Pictures's 30 Minutes or Less has a wealth of variety. Action, drama, suspense, pee-your-pants comedy, and of course, Jesse Eisenberg, helps give this film the perfect recipe for success. Throw in a supporting cast that includes Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, and Nick Swardson and this no-holds-bar comedy from the director of Zombieland delivers the perfect pizza - with extra cheese of course.
Nick (Eisenberg) is a 20-something pizza delivery guy with a ho-hum life and an undying love for his best friend's sister. Dwayne (McBride) and Travis (Swardson) are two selfish and rather stupid men still living off Dwayne's father's lottery winnings. The two morons hatch a plan to kill Dwayne's dad for his cash, but the only way to come up with the $100,000 it will take to hire a hit man is to rob a bank. So they kidnap Nick, strap a bomb to his chest and make him get the job done. He can't tell the police or they will blow him up. Due to some great acting by the four main actors--not to mention a surprise comedic cameo that I refuse to divulge - and a brilliant directorial job by Ruben Fleischer, this seemingly terrifying story is transformed into one of the best comedies of the year. The story successfully manages to not take itself too seriously while bringing serious things into the mix like love, death, the consequences of arrested development, and the value of self-worth and determination. It is amazing what one can do if one's life is directly on the line.
While 30 Minutes or Less made me laugh, it also scared the shit out of me. I couldn't rob a bank with a bomb strapped to my chest; I wouldn't know what to do except panic and die. Nick shows amazing stamina and reacts in ways that almost any terrified young person would when faced with a ridiculous task such as this. They spray paint toy guns and drink their weight in energy drinks, all the while keeping a desperate humor about himself that makes for some great nervous laughter.
Eisenberg and Ansari have wonderful on-screen chemistry---something I honestly wasn't expecting. Don't get me wrong, Ansari is one of the funniest dudes out there, but I was pleasantly surprised at Eisenberg's ability to keep up. But as much as I love those guys, I have to say that McBride and Swardson stole the show. Many argue that Danny McBride is the same character in every film, (which may have some truth behind it), but in this case it worked. Swardson showed depth in his character, mostly through his reactions and body language instead of spoken dialogue and their combined comedic timing and raunchy cock jokes are guaranteed to make you smile - especially if you are like me and enjoy your humor a little below the belt. Our generation is used to that sort of thing, but the generations above us may have a different take on the subject; thus making 30 Minutes or Less a bonified college film worth seeing!