30 Minutes or Less (2011)

The last time we saw Jesse Eisenberg in a Ruben Fleischer movie, we were treated to the somewhat uneven Zombieland, which was entertaining and rewatchable enough, as long as you ignore the whole last amusement park bit.  Since then, Eisenberg starred in last year’s excellent The Social Network in which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar.  Now one can argue long and loudly about whether or not Colin Firth deserved the win for The King’s Speech (he did, but I would have gone with James Franco in 127 Hours), but no one was denying that Eisenberg has great acting chops.  Which is why it was weird that he went and did this wacky heist movie.  At least he’ll always keep us on our toes.

The basic premise of the film is that Nick (Eisenberg) is forced by two not-so-bright dudes, Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson), to rob a bank for them.  The forcing comes in the form of a bomb vest strapped on Nick with the detonator in Dwayne’s greasy paws.  Nick enlists the help of his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) to pull off the heist, and since they’re both two bumbling man-children in ways, wacky hijinks ensue!  There’s a lot more to the plot than just what I typed, but I won’t spoil the fun details for you.

So it’s not a great movie, as most movies with Danny McBride tend to hinge on how you feel about him personally, and whether his brand of humour is actually a good fit in the film.  I’d say it works for 30 Minutes, but thankfully it’s not just him.  Watching Eisenberg and Ansari play off one another is entertaining enough, and while I can’t give the movie my highest recommendation, it does have its moments.

3 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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