30: Minutes or Less (2011)

After falling out in accordance with the demands of the script, begrudging pizza delivery boy Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) and his best friend Chet go their separate ways, leaving Chet’s sister and Nick’s crush (they’re, like, the same person) to intermediate. All aspersions are cast aside, however, when – on a routine delivery – Nick finds himself drugged, strapped to a bomb and given strict instructions to rob a bank by two men in monkey costumes. These criminal disasterminds, meanwhile, tired of cleaning pools for a living, concoct a plan to inherit Dwayne’s (Danny McBride) father’s lottery winnings by hiring a trained assassin to make the hit, presuming Nick can acquire enough money to pay the man’s fee. Things do not go to plan.

Where would Hollywood be without daddy issues? In all likelihood, not robbing a provincial bank with a home-made bomb strapped to its chest. The default signifier of depth, it pretty much impossible to swing a happily married parental unit in the grave-side divorce hall that is Tinseltown. After all, why waste whole minutes of your audience’s precious time establishing character motivation and psychological complexity when you can just give your budding protagonist a well-worn reason to hate his old man.

30:Minutes or Less often feels workmanlike in this respect, the script-writers obviously eager to get their contrivance off the ground so that Jesse Eisenberg can be all disaffected and Danny McBride can finally use all of the dick-jokes that were left over from Your Highness. With the exception of some incredibly dubious racial comedy, the likes of which will most likely leave you hating your own smirk reflex, there is very little in 30:Minutes or Less to distinguish it from either actor’s extant body of work – the film smacking of limbo, as if it has been granted passage from Development Hell following each actor’s recent success.

I find it very difficult to like manchildren, something which most likely comes as a total surprise to anyone who – until a few months ago, anyway – knew me as the disaffected, company cap-wearing minimum-wager that I undoubtedly was. While there is inevitably humour to be derived from the early-life crisis experienced by many post-graduates (as One Day recently proved) all good-will tends to evaporate the moment the character in question decides to kill his father and open his own prostitution circle or decides to dog-march through his leading role without so much as a smile.

Derivative, desparate and only vaguely amusing, 30:Minutes or Less feels more Foot Fist Way than Zombieland (Ruben Fleischer, we trusted you!). If only you too got your money back when the film resolutely fails to deliver in a timely and efficient manner.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

2 Responses to 30: Minutes or Less (2011)

  1. Pingback: September 2011 – What, there are no good sharks? « popcornaddict

  2. Pingback: Fails of the Year – 2011 « popcornaddict

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