After the hugely successful The Social Network, many expected it’s Oscar-nominated star, Jesse Eisenberg, to continue his transition from indie movie boy into more serious and mainstream roles. But he didn’t. Instead, he continued in the indie vein and starred in 30 Minutes Or Less.
The plot is absurd. When slacker Dwayne (played by Danny McBride) and his slacker friend Travis (played by Nick Swardson), decide to kill his lottery winning father, known as The Major (played by Fred Ward), to inherit the money and open a massage parlour, they hire a hitman. The only problem is the hitman wants a lot of money before the hit. So the slackers kidnap a pizza delivery boy, Nick (played by Jesse Eisenberg), strap a bomb to his chest and threaten to blow him up if he doesn’t rob a bank. Nick then enlists the help of his best friend Chet (played by Aziz Ansari) and his sister Kate (played by Dilshad Vadsaria).
This is not Citizen Kane. What it is however, is a non-stop laugh riot from the director of the excellent Zombieland, Ruben Fleischer. It stupid and absurd and it just works. Eisenberg gives a great performance of his awkward indie kid shtick and Ansari is horrendously funny in this, as he is in the phenomenal TV show Parks and Recreation (which I had not seen before this film).
It is mystifying that it was not more successful because it is just pure comedy. Yes, the situation is absurd, but it works on a logical level and once everything is set up it just runs and is brilliant.
And at 83 minutes it really doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.
This is another hilarious film that should have found a much wider audience.