Movie Review: 30 Minutes or Less

Sunday, November 6, 2011
Synopsis: Nick is a small town pizza delivery guy whose mundane life collides with the big plans of two wanna-be criminal masterminds. The volatile duo kidnaps Nick and forces him to rob a bank. With mere hours to pull off the impossible task, Nick enlists the help of his ex-best friend, Chet. As the clock ticks, the two must deal with the police, hired assassins, flamethrowers, and their own tumultuous relationship.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, Dilshad Vadsaria
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
U.S. Rating: R

Considered by many movie bloggers out there as one of the best (if not the best) Summer comedy films for the year. I must be honest that I was sold when I saw the trailer for the first time, even though, I knew it could have its risks. Comedy films like this one always tent to move to the improvised and distracting scenes that will finally get the whole film down the hill.

The story is pretty simple, not a brain-breaker script and as we know, the cast made the big effort and difference on this comedy. Jesse Eisenberg breaks one more time into the comedy genre, doing pretty good, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson worked in their comfort zone, playing the kind of role we always see them playing and Aziz Ansari, one of those new generation comedy actors that I believe has been playing low-level roles in actually, pretty good and hilarious movies! I hope he gets more attention and bigger opportunities in the near future, since he looks hilarious!

What's 30 Minutes or Less about? Here's the plot:

Nick is a slacking pizza delivery driver who has trouble completing the "30 Minutes or Less" policy that his employers issue, leading to a reprimand from his boss. Nick's friend Chet, a school teacher, discovers that Nick has slept with, and still has feelings for, Chet's twin sister Katie. It is also revealed that Chet was the reason Nick's parents divorced. After a heated argument, the two end their friendship.

Meanwhile, two delinquents, Dwayne and Travis are miserable living under the shadow of Dwayne's domineering father. Dwayne confides in a stripper, Juici, about his contempt for his dad, who is squandering the money that he won playing the lottery. Juici says she can hire an assassin to kill Dwayne's dad for $100,000 so Dwayne can collect the inheritance. Dwayne plots that they kidnap a complete stranger and force him to rob a bank for the hit money by strapping a bomb to his chest. After seeing an advertisement for the pizzeria that Nick works at, they order a pizza and wait for the driver to come to their hideout. When Nick arrives, Dwayne and Travis assault him and knock him unconscious.

When Nick wakes up, he finds a vest rigged with explosives strapped and buckled onto his torso. Dwayne and Travis, wearing masks, tell him his situation: if he does not rob a bank in ten hours, they will detonate the bomb. Going to the police will also result in them detonating the bomb, as they will be monitoring him most of the time. Nick, in his panic, goes to a school where Chet is working and desperately pleads with him to help. After plans to deactivate or remove the bomb are dashed, Chet says he has no choice but to rob the bank. Still uneasy, Nick asks Chet to assist him. Chet reluctantly agrees.

After purchasing supplies for the robbery, Nick suggests stealing Chet's family friend's car so that the police will be unable to track the license plate number of Nick's own car. Nick then stops by his workplace to tell off his boss and to go see Katie and say some final words to her. Nick and Chet later arrive at the bank, hold it up, and obtain the money. However, an employee pulls the alarm, forcing Nick and Chet to flee. After a car chase that ends up with Nick and Chet crashing their car, the two successfully evade capture by sneaking onto a bus. Nick calls Dwayne and tells him he has the money. Dwayne says he and Travis will meet him at an abandoned railyard to make the exchange. Dwayne and Travis go to a restaurant instead. When Dwayne asks Travis to possibly be the one to detonate the bomb if the time comes, Travis starts to become unsettled.

After getting his old car, Nick waits for Dwayne and Travis at the railyard while Chet hides somewhere to avoid a confrontation about his involvement in the scheme. Instead of Dwayne or Travis, however, Juici and the assassin, Chongo, are the ones who arrive to pick up the money. Nick hands Chongo the money and expects Chongo to give him the code which will deactivate the bomb. Chongo claims he doesn't know what the code is. When Nick keeps asking him for the code, Chongo gets aggravated and holds Nick at gunpoint. Chet runs in and beats Chongo while Nick incapacitates Juici. The two grab the money and escape.

Dwayne ends up getting two phone calls: one from Chongo calling to let Dwayne know that because of Chet's ambush, he will be killing Dwayne also. The second is from Nick, who berates Dwayne for not giving Chongo the code to the bomb and dares him to detonate the bomb with the money at his side. Overly frustrated by these turn of events, Dwayne activates the speed dial number on his phone for the bomb to explode, but finds that Travis altered the numbers while Dwayne wasn't looking because he was getting nervous about Dwayne's gradually violent attitude. The two head back to Katie's apartment and kidnap her. Dwayne calls Nick to let him know that he has Katie and if he doesn't meet at the scrapyard to give him the money, he'll kill her. Meanwhile, Chongo breaks into Dwayne's dad's house to find information regarding Dwayne's location and finds a hand drawn map to the scrapyard. While there, Dwayne's father attacks him and is shot after a struggle.

Nick arrives at the scrapyard and exchanges the money for Katie. Dwayne also gives Nick the code to deactivate and unbuckle the bomb with minutes to spare. Dwayne then tells Nick to walk away, but Nick deduces that as soon as Nick and Katie turn around, they will just kill them both. Dwayne confirms this by pointing a gun at them while Travis comes out wielding a flamethrower. Nick says he hired a sniper in case this were to happen. This is proved to be fake as it is only Chet who's using a laser pointer, but it's enough to fool Dwayne and Travis into lowering their weapons. Chongo arrives shortly after to kill Dwayne. Travis responds by torching Chongo with the flamethrower. Although burning to death, Chongo manages to shoot Dwayne and shoot the fuel tank for the flamethrower, causing it to explode on Travis's back. In the confusion, Nick grabs the money and drives away with Chet and Katie. Dwayne, still alive, reconciles with Travis then catches up to the others with his van, but he hears a beeping sound in the back, and the van explodes. Nick reveals that as he grabbed the money, he reactivated the bomb and threw it in the back of the van. Now free with the money in their possession, the three drive off discussing what to do with their newly acquired windfall, but discover that the money has been rigged with blue dye, rendering it useless.

After the credits showed that Dwayne and his father had survived and Dwayne had started his tanning salon business.

(Plot source: Wikipedia)

I would rate this movie with a 2.5/5

Have you watched the film? What did you like or dislike from this movie? What would you rate this movie? Share with us your thoughts!

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