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Style Magazine

Film Review: 30 Minutes or Less

Aug 21, 2011 02:24PM ● By Wendy Sipple


This is director Ruben Fleisher’s follow up to Zombieland. Both star Jesse Eisenberg, and each has a unique sense of humor about it. Dwayne and Travis are two idiot friends who, with the help of a stripper, decide to assassinate Dwayne’s dad to inherit his fortune. To do this they decide to hire a trained assassin to the tune of $100,000. This is money they do not have. They hatch a plan to attach a bomb to a random person and force them to rob the bank for them. Nick, the speedy pizza delivery guy unwittingly becomes that person. Nick quickly enlists his best friend Chet to help pull off the heist.

I always judge a comedy by the number of laughs, and I laughed a lot in 30 Minutes or Less. Unlike prior comedies this year that relied upon dirty sight gags, 30 Minutes or Less relies more on a dirty and quirky dialogue. If you are not a fan of vulgar and foul language this is not the movie for you. All the major players involved in the plot don’t have the slightest idea of what they’re doing which translates into many very funny moments, the bank robbery scene being my favorite.
I initially thought that Jesse Eisenberg was an odd choice in the casting as he has the look of someone who is super smart but with a chip on his shoulder (which was why he was perfect in Social Network). I was curious to see if he could pull off the lazy pizza boy routine. And I have to say that surprisingly, he does quite well with the role of Nick. He is over shadowed, though, by the other three leads played by Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson who all get the funnier lines in the film. Fred Ward makes a supporting appearance in the film, too, as a character named “The General.” I am a huge Fred Ward fan, he just oozes “cool.”
The movie is a brisk 83 minutes. The pace is fast and jumps from scene to scene quickly which isn’t a bad thing here. Nick’s very short attempt to disarm the bomb before going through with a bank robbery seem slightly curious. Perhaps more curious is Chet’s quick and easy decision to become a partner in crime. But because the movie doesn’t dwell on its plot points for very long the audience is not left with enough time to scratch their heads or over think the film.
Although it’s certainly not the deepest movie in terms of story or character 30 Minutes or Less definitely packs in the laughs at a very steady pace. Ruben Fleisher’s unique sense of comic pacing is fun, and I like his style. His next film, The Gangster Squad, is a crime drama instead of comedy and features a stellar cast. I look forward to see how Fleisher handles a different genre...I think he will do well. 30 Minutes or Less is light fun and will make you smile as long as you are not offended by vulgar language.
Films like 30 Minutes or Less – Zombieland, The Other Guys and Pineapple Express


Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.

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