In 30 Minutes or Less, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson play Dwayne and Travis, a duo of going-nowhere types who, on the advice of a stripper, decide to off Dwayne's hard-ass, Lotto-winning ex-Marine of a dad and live off the inheritance. They need $100,000 up front for the hit man, so Dwayne and Travis elect to raise the funds by kidnapping a patsy, strapping him into a C4-studded vest, and giving him 10 hours to rob a bank. Jesse Eisenberg's pizza delivery boy Nick soon becomes that patsy.
Despite its broad resemblance to a true-crime story, there are nearly 1
million logical leaps made in the course of setting up this Rube
Goldberg device of a plot--but watching the film clear each one becomes
its own goofy pleasure. Completing the quartet of comic leads is Aziz
Ansari as Nick's estranged friend who, in one hilarious bit, explains
he's helping not for Nick's sake, but because letting his ex-friend blow
up might one day begin to affect his "relationships with other people."
Had the movie committed to such an acerbic tone throughout, it might
have approached the inspired amorality of the Coen brothers. But instead
30 Minutes or Less quickly retrenches behind the emotional lines of
standard-issue bro humor: The man-boys can't communicate except by
calling each other pussies, and yet male bonding is still one of the
script's third-act goals. This sop to sentiment is disappointing from a
movie that otherwise feels free to make a suicide vest into a comic
--Seth Colter Walls
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