Today: February 28, 2024

30 Minutes Or Less

Fleischer’s Zombieland was one of the more pleasant surprises from Hollywood of the last few years. An infusion of horror, action and comedy, it was R-rated family fun and made use of a now very well known young cast.

Fleischer’s
Zombieland was one of the more pleasant surprises from Hollywood of the last
few years. An infusion of horror, action and comedy, it was R-rated family fun and
made use of a now very well known young cast.

He returns with on-screen favourite Eisenberg for 30 Minutes or Less, a stoner-induced comedy (are
there many that aren’t today?) that sees Nick kidnapped and wired with a highly
sensitive bomb, facing the threat of explosion unless he robs a bank within 24
hours. Eisenberg is no hero in this as is obvious from the start. An
unmotivated, unpopular and ungrateful pizza delivery boy, his last act before
becoming a human detonator is to engage in a fist-fight with his only known
friend.

It would be difficult to sympathise with this character at
all if it wasn’t Eisenberg under the vest. With a career built largely on playing
an unsure, unpopular, channel of angst, this role doesn’t see much of a change
of stripes other than, before being caught, he has a genuine dislike of life.

Dragged into the plan is said ex-best friend Chez (Aziz Ansari) a pleasantly funny, sweet
young man with a desperate desire to be loved, who teaches small children.
Behind the bomb’s trigger are low-life buddies Dwayne (McBride) and Travis (Nick
Swardson
,) the good and bad combo that until the last throws of the film
you would really like to not exist.

Aside from mind-numbing stupidity and a ‘get paid now’
attitude there’s little more depth given to both, which is one of the film’s
major faults. Sometimes the making of a film is a great nemesis, and these two-dimensional
foes, although they warrant defeat, are also bland and you’ve seen a good few of
their familiar ilk before.

There are all the traits of an action film, with high-speed
chases, wads of cash and excessive weapons (cue blowtorch). Eisenberg and
Ansari bring a cute edge to the crime genre, with their two-man bank heist
bringing the most laughs of the film. The friendship between them is
believable, their quiet regard for each other mixed with irritation and, at
times, anger that leads to actual physical blows.

As is always the way with this type of set-up, there is no
smooth transaction. Our heroes must escape a gun-toting, insecure Mexican
gangster and his busty lady, whilst our foes are constantly put down by a
retired marine father, regimentally played by Fred Ward.

Any plot turns and the outcome of the whole fiasco are disappointingly
predictable and there is a whisper of Pineapple Express throughout the whole 90
minutes. The driving force of the whole scenario are Eisenberg and Ansari,
whose dry humour and fumbling actions flesh out the humour and sincerity of the
film.

If you want quick laughs from the everyday guy, flashes of
semi-naked women and a smattering of clumsy stabs at
redemption, this is the perfect film. Fans of Zombieland however may not be as
impressed at this attempt to fuse comedy with a fistful of other genres.

Beth Webb - Events Editor

I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice

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