30 MINUTES OR LESS (2011)

TMG Scale 3.0
Starring Jesse Eisenberg,  Aziz Ansari, The ever obnoxious Danny McBride, Michael Pena, Fred Ward

TMG always says there is a clue in every movie title. This movie should have simply lasted thirty minutes or less. Thank god it only outlasted, 83.  If they had only cut out 50% of the gratuitous F bombs, 90% of the unfunny genital references and 100% of Danny McBride, it might have lasted only 30 minutes and been a half wit,  short movie. This film was such a waste of Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Pena’s incredible talents. I’ll forgive Fred Ward as I assume he just needed some beer money.

The basic plot, though simple minded as ever, had potential with Jesse Eisenberg’s panache. Nick (Eisenberg) is a disgruntled pizza delivery person (redundant I realize) who is hijacked by a failure to launch, junkyard bonehead named Dwayne (McBride). Nick has a bomb strapped to him which will explode unless he turns over $100,000.00 so Dwayne can hire a hit man,  Chango (Pena) to kill Dwayne’s Dad (Ward)—a US Marine and rich guy compliments of the state lottery. Nick and his buddy, Chet (Ansari) decide to raise the money by robbing a bank. Dare I say “and here is where it gets stupid?” We can overlook the fact that there were at least 1000 ways for Nick to get free of this predicament in 30 seconds or less, but this was a contrived little comedy and we accept the preposterous situation. I had really hoped this might all set itself up more like Judge Reinhold as Brad Hamilton in a scenario from  Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) or as Ken Kessler in Ruthless People (1986).  No such luck.

All we get are literally hundreds of bad “dick” jokes and really loathsome references to females from McBride. We have learned to expect such trash from McBride who is one of the most untalented and boorish in Hollywood today. [McBride was the “star” of this years Your Highness after all.] Eisenberg’s gags and nervous, goofball humor are the only thing of any redeeming value in this film. His gag on the young tweens ordering pizza in return for beer was clever and a good laugh. But this movie really suffered from having no writers. I assume the entire script was crafted by four thirteen year old boys drinking O’Doul’s beer.

Product placement was really hard to understand in this film. Subway and Arby’s should fire the agent that placed their image in this mega-juvenile piece of junk film.  And Family Dollar?  What were they thinking? Their parking lot gets promoted as the place to plan a robbery.  As if Family Dollar has not been robbed more and had enough of its employees shot and killed? If you have not read the papers, Family Dollar is to now what 7-11 was in the  80’s for gun and run robberies. The City of Grand Rapids does not fare much better. Is Grand Rapids really this scummy of a city?  TMG was gratified at the notable lack of male urination scenes in this film. However, in place they substituted one totally irrelevant scene of a woman on a toilet.

Bottom line? This film makes Final Destination 5 this week look like sure fire Oscar material.  According to Joy Lynn, his film just sucked….”and that’s what she said”—but don’t let me tempt you to see this film to understand that last reference.

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