Although it was Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer and Jesse Eisenberg reunited for 30 Minutes or Less, the mildly amusing trailer and unimaginative poster left me less than excited for this buddy film. Since it also stars Danny McBride, I was also expecting a pale imitation of Pineapple Express.
Clocking in at a brisk 83 minutes, 30 Minutes or Less, had enough crude humor and oddball characters to keep everything more than interesting. Nick (Eisenberg) is a sarcastic delivery pizza guy who slept with his best friend Chet’s (Aziz Ansari) twin sister (Dilshad Vadsaria) years ago. Karma is a bitch for Nick, as two oafs named Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson) strap a bomb on Nick and force him to rob a bank. Chet and Nick then devise a rather simple bank heist, aiming to steal $100,000 and live to see another day.
A small portion of the movie actually deals with the bank robbery, as the feature’s greatest strengths lie in the interplay with the characters. Fred Ward, an actor I’ve loved since his Remo Williams and Tremors days, is hilarious as The Major, Dwayne’s cruel, Marine vet father. Michael Pena, who previously worked with McBride on Eastbound & Down, is also memorable as a hitman hired to kill The Major, and Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement) is the stripper who promises to polish Dwayne’s “scepter” after the deed is done.
The offbeat and unapologetic characters that inhabit the small town confines of 30 Minutes or Less would be a perfect fit for a Coen Brothers movie, and although Fleischer’s film doesn’t reach similar heights, the picture has its merits.
Special Features: Another huge upside for 30 Minutes or Less are its special features, which include a Picture Commentary Track with Fleischer, Eisenberg, Ansari, Swardson, and McBride. One of the Blu-ray’s featurettes, the fourteen minute “Blowing Up With the Crew of 30 Minutes or Less,” delves into the use of improvisation among the movie’s main characters. At just a little over 10 minutes, “The Perfect Crime: Action and Comedy in 30 Minutes or Less,” spotlight’s the movie’s action sequences (there’s an car chase smack dab in the middle of the film). Also included are eleven minutes worth of deleted scenes, which include an amusing sequence with The Major and Dwayne (Dwayne tells his dad his big dream of opening a full body massage tanning salon that services its clients) as well as an alternate ending which Fleischer should have used instead of rather abrupt theatrical version.
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