Aug 212011
 
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

In another case of a cast that looks better on paper than it works in practice, the comedy “30 Minutes or Less” tapers off where it should be taking off.

The movie stars a power duo of Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari as nobody Michigan friends Nick and Chet.

Nick is a twenty-something pizza delivery boy who gets captured by two losers (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) and wakes up with a bomb strapped to his chest.

McBride’s character suggests the “genius” ultimatum to have Nick rob a bank to get the $100,000 needed to pay the hit man he hires to kill his dad.

The only thing more disturbing than McBride’s idea and his over-the-top slimeball delivery is that the film’s premise actually happened in real life.

Why a movie was made about it, I don’t know.

The film’s laughs mainly come from dark situational comedy rather than relying on the talent of its cast.

Eisenberg and Ansari provide chuckles by doing little more than wimpy banter back and forth.
It is disappointing to know that both of the actors are capable of providing huge laughs but are held back here. Especially when Eisenberg and director Ruben Fleischer’s previous movie “Zombieland” was such a breakout hit.

But for what it’s worth, “30 Minutes or Less” has its moments.

A flamethrower and an extreme car chase scene highlight the film.

And another unusual strength, “30 Minutes or Less” is short. At just under an hour and a half, it moves at a fast pace and avoids drag.

I just wish the script was as quick.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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