30 Minutes or Less: A Flickcharter’s Movie Review
Have you seen a trailer for 30 Minutes or Less? Actually, let me rephrase the question. Have you watched any prime time TV in the past month? If your answer is “Yes.” to the second question than your answer to the first is probably “Yes, many times.” and thus you have very little reason to watch this film right now. You’ve seen the funniest parts and you know the vast majority of what’s going to happen. I won’t spoil anything, but I don’t feel guilty in divulging that the plot points the trailer doesn’t cover are not incredibly inspired.
The two protagonists are Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari, who have good chemistry and work well together. Ansari gets most of the jokes while Eisenberg gets the actual burden of having depth of character. We are given a lot of shallow exposition as to the depth of their friendship, and we get a scene of them airing out all the horrible things they’ve done to each other. This leads them to calling off the friendship until one of them gets a bomb strapped to them and needs the others help to rob a bank so it can be taken off safely. Luckily, that happens shortly thereafter.
This leads us to the antagonists, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson. McBride plays a really stupid yet incredibly confident guy, a.k.a. the same character he always plays. Swardson plays his equally stupid yet less confident and more sympathetic sidekick. I’m definitely getting some McBride fatigue. I didn’t enjoy a lot of his scenes while many people in the theater were laughing it up at his usual antics. Swardson was fine, but felt underused comedically. He never really got to do anything that didn’t involve playing off of McBride. Their reasoning for needing the money is weak; McBride is going to pay a hit-man $100,000 to kill his father so he can inherit his money. The best thing to come of this part of the plot is Michael Peña, who plays the hit-man and steals most every scene he’s in.
I’ve been very critical and it probably seems like I hated this movie. Most of my complaints are forgivable in a comedy if they make up for it with very funny scenes. I don’t care too much how improbable certain things are or how rushed a film is if I’m consistently laughing. These aspects may not make it a great or classic movie, but I consider it’s success based more on humor than anything else. That being said there are funny moments in here. There were some small individual moments of hilarity and the robbery itself was great. Unfortunately, too often I felt I was making myself laugh because I thought something was funny in the trailer the first ten times I saw it.
Make no mistake, I’m not telling you to never see this film. I’m simply imploring you to wait. Wait until the things that made you laugh in the trailer are just a glimmer in your memory. Wait until you can watch an episode of your favorite TV show without seeing Aziz Ansari sing as he spray paints a toy gun. In other words, wait until it comes out on DVD.
30 Minutes or Less is currently ranked #408 on my Flickchart.