Movie provides dark originality

“Guess what? You just brought a gun to a bomb fight, officer!”

This line, spoken by Nick, played by Jesse Eisenberg. captures the spirit of “30 Minutes or Less.” The movie takes a tired, played-out cliché and revives it with pithy comedic timing that parallels reality, albeit a twisted reality.

The movie was directed by Ruben Fleischer, known for the equally morbid comedy — also starring Jesse Eisenberg — “Zombieland.”

Nick, a regular, everyday normal guy, finds himself a pawn in an oddly disturbing and sinuous string of events resulting in Nick and his best friend Chet, played by Aziz Ansari, having a measly 10 hours to come up with $100,000.

Failure to do so will result in an inescapable homemade bomb strapped to Nick’s chest bringing a swift and miserable end to his lackluster life.


Feeling that robbing a bank is their only way out, the two find themselves guilty of not only car theft but (semi) armed robbery — an ill-thought out and executed robbery, yet robbery nonetheless.

All the while, they are fending off run-ins with such swarthy characters as Chango, the cholo hit man.

Danny McBride as Dwayne, the highly delusional instigator of the whole bomb scheme, reminds us why we fell in love with the weirdo character from the movie “Foot Fist Way.”

He masterfully delivers his unique performance of lovable redneck ignorance.

The usual, over-the-top caricature that is Ansari compliments Eisenberg’s understated portrayal of his character quite well, delivering a nice balance throughout the entire movie.

Easily the most alluring quality about “30 Minutes or Less” is its dark originality.

In today’s mainstream comedies where plot lines take a back seat to utter randomness and stupid humor, this film holds its head high, shakes its fist at formula and says, “not today formula, not today.”

Yes, the plot is outrageous and mostly unrealistic, yet there is a plot — a clear one that can be followed and appreciated for its outside-of-the-box quality.

Even in the most absurd and ridiculous of situations, the dialogue is clever and relatively intelligent which in and of itself is quite a feat.

All the technicalities aside, the movie is plain entertaining,

I don’t feel as though I wasted two hours of my life or my seven bucks.

Rating: B+

To contact Priscilla Colley, email

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