Director Ruben Fleischer seems to be copying Edgar Wright’s career path, starting with RomZomCom Zombieland and now giving us an action comedy 30 Minutes or Less. It’s a shame that Fleischer can’t produce anything nearly as fun as Wright. 30 Minutes or Less is the story of a pizza delivery guy (Eisenberg) who is kidnapped by two criminals (McBride and Swardson), strapped to a bomb and forced to rob a bank, “hilarious” incidents follow.
This film is awfully paced, it rushes along not stopping to be clever or entertaining, it doesn’t give us any time to get to know the characters (something Fleischer’s previous project Zombieland handled quite well). Due to its 100mph pace the film completely washes over the audience not leaving any memorable moments or any sort of connection to what’s going on. Another huge problem with the movie is that it just isn’t funny, anything that is funny is in the trailer but that still isn’t hugely hilarious. For the entire runtime I sat through the movie stone faced, not once did I even smirk.
Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari seem to be tragically miscast in each other’s roles with Eisenberg playing a confident slacker and Ansari portraying a skittish uptight school teacher, neither seem appropriate or comfortable doing what they’re doing. Danny McBride and Nick Swardson offer no laughs either, sharing very little chemistry with each other and their characters motives jump all over the place. Swardson is very quickly killing his career with dreadful performances in this, Just Go with It and the upcoming Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, I’ll be thankful for when he stops gracing our screens.
30 Minutes or Less offers very little to its audience, it’s dull, unmemorable and majorly lacking in the laughs department. Its plot is fairly interesting and perhaps in the hands of a more capable director it would work but sadly here it doesn’t. A failure all round.