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Having watched loads of films over the years I have found that the ones that stand out are the lower end comedies like American Pie, Van Wilder, Old School, etc and so when I discovered 30 Minutes or Less on Netflix I decided it sounded like another to fit in to this style of comedy so had to give it a try. The plot of the film sees Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) as a pizza delivery boy who is focused on drinking, gaming, watching movies and parting with his buddies. The best of his buddies is Chet (Aziz Ansari) who is getting more serious in his life as he heads in to his life as a full time teacher which begins to put strain on the friendship and when he finds out that Nick slept with his twin sister, Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria), the friendship is finally ended. Dwayne King (Danny McBride) is fed up of living in his fathers shadow following his big win on a lottery ticket years back that sees him continually putting his son down and so with his friend Travis Cord (Nick Swardson) decide enough is enough and that it is time to get rid of his father. After heading to a lap-dancing club and confiding in a dancers called Juicy (Bianca Kajlich) about his plans she tells him that she has a contact who can do the job for $100,000 and so the two friends need to figure out how to come up with the cash to off Dwayne''s father. Dwayne and Travis decide to go about getting a pizza delivered to a location where they are free to do as they wish as it is so remote and luck would have it that the delivery driver is Nick. After knocking Nick out they place a bomb-vest on him and tell him to get the $100,000 and suggest robbing the local bank so Nick needs to figure out what to do and turns to Chet for help in how to save his life. I won''t go into any more detail as this gives enough to understand the plot but not too much to ruin the film. The film has great casting as whilst not having major names it manages to have people who play the parts perfectly. I think that Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari deserve a special mention as they work really well together throughout. The storyline is one which makes a lot of sense and whilst for some would seem far fetched actually does have many similarities to real life events (Brian Douglas Wells 28th August 2003). The storyline is one which makes a lot of sense and whilst for some would seem far fetched actually does have many similarities to real life events (Brian Douglas Wells 28th August 2003). Overall 30 Minutes or Less is a funny film which manages to deliver some low quality laughs throughout and so is a worth while watch if you fancy watching a film which will make laugh but that takes no concentration. I have watched it a few times and still find it to be a good film whilst not being excellent and so would give it 3.5 out of 5.
Released in August of 2011,, this film is a rare breed of the comedy, action, and heist genres - starring Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, and Michael Pena. Reportedly *not* based on a similar event that actually took place in Pennsylvania back in 2003 that killed the poor guy involved, "30 Minutes Or Less" features an eerily identical premise: Two lazy, and deplorable losers looking to make a quick buck, McBride and Swardson, strap a bomb-vest to a kidnapped pizza delivery boy, played by Eisenberg.
Then, they sadistically order him to rob a bank of $100,000, else he'll be blown apart. It is a morbid scenario, downright unnerving to watch at times -- in stark contrast to the first act of the film that is very playful and actually funny. Fading quickly from the early light-hearted tone, the constant threat of death hovering over our hereos dissolves this movie into an unfunny dark-comedy littered with pathetic jokes and irredeemably terrible characters. Curiously following up his Oscar-nominated role in "The Social Network", Eisenberg reunites with Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, once again type-cast as the familiar fast-talking neurotic kid who doesn't like to be bullied, while Aziz fits nicely into the snarky sidekick role.
Besides the intriguing premise, which was distastefully ripped from headlines just 10 years old, "30 Minutes Or Less" doesn't have much going for it, nor is it particularly memorable - with the exception of the opening credits sequence featuring our pizza delivery driver breaking every land-speed record, doing drift-turns at 30-miles-an-hour to get his customer's food to them in under a half-hour - capped off with some fun jokes, and a clever punchline, it's an enjoyable scene that sadly doesn't set the tone for the rest of the film, which goes downhill from there. Given the level of talent involved, this is a disappointingly sophomoric effort that will likely delight only the deranged and easily amused.
Luckily, at an incredibly short 83-minutes, this embarrassing and distasteful experience ends before it has a chance to sink in. "30 Minutes Or Less". Although I chuckled at times, and was mostly glued to the screen, it wasn't always for the right reasons... this movie was simply disrespectful and not that enjoyable, I thought it was BAD.
The film, starts with a pizza boy delivering pizza to two young kids, then conning them out of money that they refused to pay due to the fact that he took over thirty minutes to deliver it. Which he did say was technically impossible which is why they ordered from him. Then the story jumps to him being back at home sat on the step enjoying a nice cold beer. The story jumps once again to two different men, that are exploding melons and then they are watching a 3D movie of Friday the 13th.
The film keeps jumping between the pizza boy Nick and the other two lads who we are yet to find out much about. It soon becomes apparent what the other two guys are in the film for as they plot and follow it through to kidnap Nick and strap a bomb to him, obviously they do not know who Nick is they just chose a random take away delivery guy. They tell him that he has to bring them back $100,000 back and he only has 10 hours to do so. They give him a demonstration of what will happen if he fails by blowing up a teddy bear. Now the race is on and he has to try and find a way to get that sort of money.
He gets his mate Chet to agree to help him try to find the money, they go shopping to buy toy guns to try and rob a bank, will he succeed in getting the money to the men before they blow him up or is he a goner. Watch the film to find out.
I would say that this film is really worth a watch, I found it more funny than anything else. I was not expecting a comedy from the read up of the film, but that's what I got. The film had unexpected twists and turns in it, and you never knew what was going to happen from beginning to end. The film is based around Nick played by Jessie Eisenberg who plays the lead role in this very well there is nothing that you can say bad about the way he played his character, he was class.
I would recommend anyone to give this a watch as I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and I would not have been able to guess how it would end, there was just no clues at all, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I saw this film when it first came out in the cinema and was pleasantly surprised by how funny it actually was.
I tend to have fairly low expectations when it comes to these American stoner actions movies (I'm looking at you, Pineapple Express). At the time though I had unlimited free tickets because I worked in a cinema, so pretty much went to go and see everything: good or bad. I'd seen the trailer and didn't think much of it but figured Jesse Eisenberg might provide some light relief in terms of eye candy, so thought I'd give it a go anyway.
The basic premise for the film is that Pizza delivery guy Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) works for a company who promise to deliver in '30 minutes or less' (hence the title). Towards the end of one shift his less than personable employer makes him drive into the middle of nowhere to deliver a pizza order. He is greeted by two gorilla masked criminals, Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson), who knock him out. When he wakes he has a bomb strapped to him and is told he must go and rob a bank, or face instant detonation.
Nick panics, obviously, and goes instantly to his friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) who works in an elementary school. This ill-thought out destination is met by scolding from Chet who is angry that Nick has bought a bomb to a school. After his initial panic begins to fade a little, Chet helps Nick to hatch a plan in which they decide to equip themselves with toy guns and masks in order to rob a bank. They adopt the aliases 'Cruz' and 'Luiz' and create a back story in which they have escaped from prison. Their bank robbery, though not without fault, it surprisingly successful and they make it out with the money and without being shot.
Dwayne contacts Nick in order to arrange a drop off place for the money and everything goes disastrously wrong from there on out. I won't spoil the ultimate ending for you but needless to say there (or maybe it does need saying) there are pen guns, flame throwers, laser board pointers, explosions and so much more. In fact this film has a lot to offer in the way of special effects, more than you would assume for what is essentially a comedy with a bit of action.
The humour is better than expected too. It is probably best compared to something like Zombieland (also starring Jesse Eisenberg) in that it creates a dangerous and life threatening situation, but deals with it in a hilariously dark and off-beat way. Obviously you are on the side of Nick and Chet, though the film gives you enough to a back story to sort of care about Dwayne and Travis too.
Apparently (according to wikipedia, anyway) the film bears a striking resemblance to real life events too, which the cast and film-makers have denied knowledge of. In 2003 a pizza delivery man walked into a bank in America with a bomb strapped to his neck. More recently, in 2012, a woman had a bomb forcibly strapped to her ankle and sent to rob a bank. Since the film was released on DVD in 2011 I'm guessing the latter bank robbery was potentially influenced by the film. Either way, knowing this could have been based on real life events in no way spoils my enjoyment of this film.
The film is only 80 minutes long which is pretty much the perfect length for me. I can't stand to watch a film that is longer than about 90 minutes because you can always guarantee there'll be a problem with pacing or a bit of a lull somewhere in there. This film is paced really well, consistently funny and pretty much the perfect length in terms of the plot.
I bought the film on DVD a couple of months ago now in the 2 for £10 deal in HMV (which if you read my film reviews you'll know I can't resist). I am pretty pleased to get this film for a fiver as it probably won't drop to that price alone for a year or two and by which time I might have forgotten about it. I'm happy to have it in my DVD collection and have watched it a few times since buying it.
My only slight reservation would be that it has quite a bit of offensive language and humour in it. If you are of a sensitive disposition maybe give it a miss, otherwise go right ahead!
If you enjoyed films like 'Zombieland' then I would definitely give this a watch. To end, let me leave you with this quote from the film: 'If wanting a lot of money is gay, then yeh, I'm Elton John'.
I came across this on Amazon but don't really remember seeing or hearing about it at the time of its release. I quite like Jesse Eisenberg so even though I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the film, I was looking forward to it. As far as comedy romp goes, this was entertaining enough and one I'm glad I watched.
30 Minutes Or Less was directed by Ruben Fleischer, who has worked in various capacities in various films and short productions, including Zombieland, so he's got some knowledge and expertise in this genre. The premise is basically that there's two rather dumb guys turn wannabe hardcore criminals who need some money and will go to any lengths to get it. Dwayne and Travis need money to open a massage parlor and Dwayne wants to get the money from his dad, who's loaded after a lottery win. Problem is, his dad, aka 'The Major', a mean-looking dude, won't fork over the cash, so his son decides to hire a hit man to kill him. But, in order get someone else to do the dirty work, the hired help want $100,000.
Enter Nick (played by Jesse Eisenberg), a pizza delivery guy in a small town with little to worry about until Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson) turn up. They kidnap him and try to force him to rob a bank, and the incentive is that if he does, the explosives they've strapped to him won't detonate. Nick, obviously terrified at the concept of being a live explosion waiting to happen, quickly realises there's no way out of the explosives jacket or his situation: he must rob the bank if he wants to live. Chet (Aziz Ansari), a guy who was his best friend until circumstances ruined their friendship, gets enlisted as his bank-robber help, and together the duo attempt to put a plan together.
I won't say any more on the plot except to say that the rest of the film follows both the unlikely criminal duo keeping an eye on their human explosives devise, and the pair of friends naively attempting a bank robbery. The question is, can Nick pull it off in time without being caught, and will the not-so-bright kidnappers be able to keep their side of the bargain and let Nick go?
I quite liked the overall feel to the film as it fitted the comedy genre well without becoming too slapstick or cringe-worthy. There were elements of silly comedy, quips, and blunders that made it light-hearted and entertaining, though I wouldn't say it was laugh-out-loud funny. Rather, it was just quite easy to watch and amusing as it didn't take much thought to understand what's what and keep up.
The acting was, for the most part, fairly good, with other cast members including
Michael Pena as Chango, Fred Ward as The Major and Brett Gelman as the Pizza house boss. Fred Ward was actually really good as The Major, a character that I quite liked in a strange way, so it would have been nice to have seen more of him. McBride and Swardson played the bumbling wannabe crims Dwayne and Travis well, making them amusing to watch without being too irritatingly dumb. Admittedly, the plan and premise for why they want the money and how they go about it was quite unrealistic, but the acting and scenes made up for this because it made the film easy to watch and forget about other stresses of the day for a while whilst doing so.
The downsides? I did feel the script could have been tighter, wittier and more comical rather than relying perhaps on Eisenberg to pick up the slack. Eisenberg and Ansari were strong enough when together though it still seemed quite obvious that Eisenberg shone through as the protagonist and 'made the film' in that sense. Although there was plenty of action and various scenes to keep it lively and colourful, there were times when I felt it could have been improved, where the tempo could have been mantained better with a stronger script and premise. Unfortunately, it fell short of being a really gripping or funny film, albeit an easy one to watch, so it's not one I'd watch again. It lacked a sense of 'oomph' or of really standing out, which is probably why I've not heard much about this film.
Would I recommend? Probably, if you want something easy going and enjoy Eisenberg doing his thing, then this isn't the worst 'comedy' you could pick. It had its good points but it could have been far stronger that it was.
Rated Certificate 15, DVD released Jan 2012
Selling on Amazon for £8.99
30 Minutes or Less: Film Details
Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Ruben Fleischer (the director of Zombieland in 2009)
Screenwriter: Michael Diliberti, Matthew Sullivan
Runtime: 1 hr. 23 min.
Music by: Ludwig Goransson
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg (Nick), Danny McBride (Dwayne), Aziz Ansari (Chet), Nick Swardson (Travis), Michael Peña (Chango), Bianca Kajlich (Juicy), Dilshad Vadsaria (Kate) and Fred Ward (the Major).
The film was released in August 12, 2011 by Columbia Pictures.
More information: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1622547/
DVD Release: November 29, 2011
Official Website: 30MinutesorLess.com
MPAA Rating: R (for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence)
For ages under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
The film opens with Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) in his old mustang car racing in the town to deliver a pizza. He is an average guy who works in a pizza delivery service that promises to deliver the food in less than 30 minutes or it's for free. As the film's tagline says,"A lot can happen in 30 minutes".
We are also introduced to two criminals, Dwayne and Travis (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) who are the lazy bad guys in the movie. Dwayne is unemployed and lives with his military dad called "The Major" (Fred Ward) who has won the state lottery and spends the money on cars, boats and generally lives a luxury life. Dwayne's rich father makes his life difficult so the two buddies are planning to kill him for the inheritance money. One night Dwayne is in a strip club, enjoying a dance from Juicy (Bianca Kajlich) who is his favourite stripper and he reveals his plans to her. When she listens about the money involved she suggests to call Chango (Michael Peña), a Latino hitman who is willing to kill The Major for a reward of $100000.
Nick receives a pizza order for the house of the two masked criminals. They are convinced that he is the perfect stranger to bring them the money so they leave him unconscious and when he wakes up later, he has a bomb strapped on his chest. With the bomb on his body that is set to blow up in 10 hours he is forced to rob a bank and bring them $100,000 in order to pay the hired assassinate for the murder. Nick turns to his ex-best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) and they organise a bank robbery to get the money quickly and without getting caught. Chet (Aziz Ansari) is teaching at an elementary school and he was Nick's best friend but they had a huge fight because he had a secret relationship with this Chet's twin sister. As the story progresses, he is trying to free Eisenberg from his explosives to save his friend's life and the two buddies get involved in some crazy adventures and a lot of action.
There are some violent scenes in the film, some sexual content and a lot of inappropriate language, especially in the dialogues between Dwayne and Travis in an attempt to represent the reality.
The talented cast delivers with honesty the friendship relationships in the film. Eisenberg and Ansari have a good chemistry and they bring a lot of fun in the movie by exploring the different dynamics of friendship with the aim to show how far the real friends would go for each other.
Two parallel buddies stories are unfolded between the four main characters of this movie. Nick and Chet are best friends since their childhood, until Nick reveals his secret relationship with Chet's twin sister (Dilshad Vadsaria). Her brother thinks that Nick is not good enough for her and they have a huge argument that ends up in a physical fight. When Nick has a bomb on his body he turns to his old friend's help who is willing to follow him and rob a bank together to save his friend's life.
Similarly, the criminal duo Danny McBride and Swardson are the "bad" guys. Dwayne and Travis are friends for the last 20 years, they enjoy watching movies like "Friday the 13th"and blowing up things in their junk yard.
Dwayne's father pushes him to find a job and stop being a loser so he is looking for the easy money to get away from his miserable life. His character is selfish and aggressive at some points and he enjoys being in charge and giving orders.
Travis is a more likeable and funny character in the movie. He is the sweet, dump guy who is loyal to his friend and can to do anything for him. They are planning everything together and they have several ups and downs, especially when McBride decides to change plans without informing Travis about his intentions.
- My opinion
I was looking for a film to watch and this one was in the most popular film releases in 2011 according to IMDb. The film was then in the top 20, but currently it's placed in number 50 with an overall rating of 6.3/10.
The main character Nick is played by Jesse Eisenberg and I was mainly interested in watching the film because of him. I had seen the "Social Network", the drama film about Facebook that made him widely known and successful but in this movie he is completely different and he didn't remind me of his previous roles.
Before paying to watch a movie, I always see the trailer first. This one prepared me for a good comedy with action and I should say that it was pleasant and entertaining but I was not impressed or blown away. I found the storyline very different from the usual and interesting with the action and comedy equally balanced. However, I noticed that the highlights of the movie are all summed up in the trailer and the full movie doesn't go much further.
The overall result is funny and engaging. The director keeps things exciting and interesting through the whole movie with several surprising twists in the plot. He includes chasings, explosions, flame guns and great special effects. The bank robbery is a quite clever and funny scene and everything is fast moving with not much time to think about the holes in the plot. The countdown for the bomb and the fast paced scenes and dialogs keep the interest high throughout the movie and there is no time to think much or to get bored.
However, there are some parts of the movie that don't work as well as they should. The film doesn't go deep into the characters and it made me wonder about them, I would like them to be a bit more developed in this movie. In many other movies I find myself related to a character but in this one I think that the characters were exaggerating in their reactions and I couldn't find any commons. Further, as a viewer I felt that the attempt of the love story between Nick and Kate (Chet's sister) is not as strong and emotional as I expected.
I didn't have high expectations from the film and I was not impressed, but I was satisfied with the energetic performances and entertained during the movie. It has a lot of jokes but the story ends abruptly with a business commercial and it's not very well developed as there are some holes in the plot.
- Worth seeing?
Overall, in "30 Minutes or Less" you will see bombs, robberies, kidnappings, high-speed car chasing and a lot of action. I would recommend it as it's an entertaining movie for Saturday nights but it's not a movie that will make you thinking about it afterwards.
- Special features (DVD)
* Blowing Up with the Cast & Crew of 30 Minutes or Less
* Deleted Scenes
* Travis Thinks the Major is Jacked
* Chet Tells Nick Worse Ways To Die
* Dwayne and Travis Talk Tanning Codes
- Price and availability
UK DVD for "30 Minutes or Less" movie can be pre-ordered on Amazon for £8.99 with free delivery in the UK. It will be released on January 30, 2012.
Alternatively, it can be rented from www.blockbuster.co.uk
Thank you for reading!
This review is also on ciao under my name "sweetybi"