30 Minutes Or Less (Blu-ray)
Although the title for 30 MINUTES OR LESS is referring to pizza delivery then reflecting a ticking clock to rob a bank before a bomb goes off, I think it was really trying to describe the film’s running time. It’s shorter than a children’s film catering to short attention spans. So I’m guessing this R-rated action comedy expected adults with about the same intelligent level. But to be fair, it did manage to make me laugh on a few occasions through the brisk 80-minute runtime.
Our hero is Nick (Jesse Eisenberg – THE SOCIAL NETWORK, ZOMBIELAND), a 20-something year old guy who delivers pizza and owns a decrepit busted down mustang. His best friend Dwayne (Aziz Ansari – PARKS AND RECREATION, FUNNY PEOPLE) has a teaching job and his love interest, Kate, also Dwayne’s twin sister, was just offered a job in Atlanta. Everyone is growing up but Nick. On the other end of the spectrum we have our loveable bad guys. Chet (Danny McBride – EASTBOUND & DOWN, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) is still living at home with his rich mean Marine Corps father (Fred Ward – TREMORS, THE PLAYER) doing absolutely nothing with his life. He hatches a brain dead scheme with his equally losery friend Travis (Nick Swardson – JUST GO WITH IT, GRANDMA’S BOY) to have his father killed so he can inherit his money. In order to keep his hands clean, they kidnap the pizza delivery boy (Nick) strap a bomb to his chest and tell him he needs to rob a bank for $100,000 otherwise… “Kaboom.” With that money the plan is to pay an assassin to kill Dwayne’s father. Yeah, they go through a lot of extra unnecessary hoops to get the job done. But all those unnecessary extra hoops is what make for a moderately funny action comedy
The actors all do a fantastic job despite most of the work being left in their hands. I’m guessing the actual script was only about ten pages long then the rest of the film improvised. McBride and Swardson shine as the uneducated white trash villains and Eisenberg more than holds his own among all the professional comedians. His humor and actual acting talent is perfect for the leading man and the weight the picture needed to keep a sense of realism. But the man that comes away with the most laughs is Ansari. His way of sort of announcing his lines may come off as bad acting but it is brilliantly funny among the chaos of the action.
The best scene in the film is easily the bank heist. Ironically we learn in the special features that this was the only scene fully scripted out. Which begs the question, why not spend a few more days writing the script to get a more complete film? While this amateur heist from a couple of guys who base their plan from POINT BREAK is extremely funny and original, it reveals the lack of preparation through the rest of the film and is far too short for a scene that appears the entire movie was built around. I do like the idea that a pizza delivery boy would make a great getaway driver.
The film is simple combining some fun action moments through humorous situations and off-the-wall jokes. But if I were to have paid money to a theater I would have been upset. If I had purchased the Blu-ray I would have been disappointed. If I watched it on Netflix or caught it on TV I would be mildly amused. So my point is it’s all relative. I don’t think it’s a bad movie. In fact, it’s good for a few laughs, but if you happen to skip this one you won’t be missing out.
Video: (1080p High Definition 2.40:1) The picture is clean picking up a colorful scheme.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD MA) Good sound with a few explosions and car chases in the mix.
Picture-in-Picture Video Commentary with Actors Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson and Director Ruben Fleischer: It’s always fun when you can see the guys but you can tell they don’t really know what to say. It takes some time to warm up but they are funny together sometimes and worth the watch if you like these guys. I think it is very interesting to note that Jesse Eisenberg has never seen the film until this moment.
Blowing Up with the Cast & Crew (14:08): Director Fleischer discusses how great and funny his actors are. By the way he admits that McBride and Swardson improvisation was basically their script. Everyone compliments each other in funny ways.
The Perfect Crime: Action and Comedy in 30 Minutes Or Less (10:58): this is almost an extension of the previous feature. Everyone who worked on the film discuss mixing the action and comedy.
Deleted Scenes (11:40): Ten scenes that didn’t add much but a couple of them were mildly funny and could have easily been thrown in to beef up the short running time.
Outtakes (6:14): Three scenes where the comedic actors improvise several humorous takes.