There were about seven or eight screenings of 30 Minutes or Less in the Detroit area, and I chose the absolute last one to go to, since it was at the theater closest to me. I had heard mixed reviews about the film so I wasn’t expecting too much from it; however, it ended up being pretty funny in a “summer fluff” type of way.
Nick (Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”) is a pizza delivery boy who doesn’t have many aspirations for his life. His best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari, TV’s “Parks and Recreation”) is a substitute teacher who just got promoted to full time, and Nick is secretly dating his twin sister, Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria, TV’s “Greek”). Nick hates his job and his boss is a jerk, and he gives him one last delivery to make right before his shift is over, to a shack on the outskirts of town. The men who are waiting there for him (Danny McBride, “Your Highness,” and Nick Swardson, “Just Go With it”) want more than just pizza, though: they knock Nick out, strap a bomb to his chest while he’s asleep, and tell him that he must rob a bank to get them $100,000. McBride’s character is a lazy guy whose dad (Fred Ward, “Armored”), won millions in the Michigan lottery, and he wants to kill him and get the rest of his money. Nick has about ten hours to rob the bank and get the guys the money, and he recruits Chet to help him; what happens next is a crazy, wild tale with a few awesome car chase scenes thrown in, too.
I may have liked this movie more than I should have because it takes place in Grand Rapids, Mich. After a scene where Chet and Nick steal a neighbor’s car to use for the bank robbery, Chet is scared that the neighbor may have seen his brown hands and be able to recognize him because “there are only four Indian families in Grand Rapids!” On a more serious note, though, the movie is loosely based on a real event, and the pizza delivery man in that event did not make it out alive; I am surprised that the filmmakers would choose to base a comedy on this event.
Maybe see this film. It’s rated R for a reason–it has a lot of language and a lot of vulgarity in it. If you can overlook that, however, you will find it entertaining. The car chases were really good and Aziz Ansari actually steals the show; Eisenberg was okay in this film but anyone could have played his part. It was fun to see Dilshad Vadsaria in this too, as I was a big fan of her in the TV show “Greek.” 30 Minutes or Less may not be the best comedy out this summer, but the film ends up being surprisingly amusing, and it’s a film that fans of comedy movies may enjoy.
30 Minutes or Less is out in theaters today, August 12th, and is rated R with a runtime of 83 minutes.
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