I think I’m getting old. I really want to kick back and rant about the copious amounts of potty mouth streaming from Danny McBride, but then, there are other reasons to dislike the way McBride is used in this film; and I still laugh at the spewing of swear words in Eddie Murphy’s Raw, so I guess it’s not age which gets in the way of enjoying this film, but rather, the lack of jokes coming from the potty mouth.
Indeed, all the characters in 30 Minutes or Less seem to have replaced being funny with being offensive, and not even very well. There is a grand total of about five jokes in this film and they represent the only times I laughed, because they’re funny. When Jesse Eisenberg does funny he does it well. We only have to look back at his last collaboration with director Ruben Fleischer to see that. Zombieland is one of the best comedies in years, and since then Eisenberg has managed to earn himself an Oscar nomination for The Social Network, the source of one of the few jokes in 30 Minutes. So what happened? Maybe the actor and director were so desperate to find another project to work on together that they didn’t properly weed out the scripts.
The plot sees Eisenberg playing Nick, a stoner pizza delivery boy. He delivers a pizza to Dwayne (McBride) and Travis (Swarsdon) who strap a bomb onto him and send him out to rob a bank. Nick turns to his buddy Chet (Ansari) to help him with the heist.
That’s actually a half-way decent set up for a car chase movie, but this movie doesn’t even try. There’s very few car chases in it and when they do appear they are punctuated by some pretty awful and unnecessary CGI work.
This film is too busy trying to be Pineapple Express. A film which was very hit and miss, in trying to emulate it, Fleischer’s only managed to cover the miss.
Not one for the cinema, that said, if you find yourself “developing a craving for a pizza” in the middle of the night in a hazy apartment, attitudes may very well change. Such altered states which occur, at that hour of the night, may very well be the only missing ingredient to making this film work.