Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #271 30 Minutes or Less

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2011 at 7:11 AM

Movie #271 30 Minutes or Less

(2011, US, d. Ruben Fleisher)

Imagine a pizza guy gets a bomb strapped to his chest with the demands he must rob $100,000 in 12 hours or he explodes. Now imagine that that pizza guy is Mark Zuckerberg/Jesse Eisenberg who brings along a loud-mouthed Indian friend played by Aziz Ansari to rob a local bank with him. Finally imagine that the bomb-strappers are Danny McBride and Nick Swardson who have not a single idea of what the hell they are doing. Congratulations, you have now imagined all of 30 Minutes or Less, a film whose trailer is far funnier than the film itself. I hate when this happens. You go see a movie and the funniest trailer of all time plays before you and you’re like “Holy Moly! I have to see that”. And then you see it and most of the jokes you cracked up at during the trailer are only chuckle-worthy in the feature length version. Such is the case with 30 Minutes, though not because of the performances. Despite the wonderful cast propelled by the perpetually hilarious voice and face of Aziz Ansari, the film just never manages to rise beyond its intriguing log-line. By far the funniest film of the summer though, 30 Minutes or Less in comparison to the recent additions to the genre, is like Citizen Kane. But based off its own merits, it doesn’t deserve much recognition. Director Ruben Fleisher creates a great small-town vibe and retro feel to the film, making most of the action sequences and car chases seem straight out of the 80’s movies that the writers consistently make sly references towards. 30 Minutes or Less did have people cracking up in the theaters. Perhaps I will change my mind soon. Perhaps it was just the expectation. But a cast that good should just make me laugh a little harder. Perhaps.

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  1. Nice Review! As R-rated comedies go, this one is modestly enjoyable but unremarkable, liable to be forgotten in, oh, say, a half hour or so. The cast is having fun and although the film is over in 1 hour and 23 minutes, you still have fun the whole time. Check out my review when you can!

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