“30 Minutes or Less” looks at what happens when a pizza delivery guy ends up an unwilling bank robber.
The fast-paced buddy comedy (it’s only 83 minutes long) works best when it focuses on the central players. Sadly, that focus gets shattered by the latest version of feces in a punch bowl.
Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) delivers pizzas, a job that goes from dead-end to deadly when he’s grabbed by a pair of losers (Danny McBride and Nick Swarsdon) who need money to hire a hitman.
They strap a bomb to Nick’s chest and order him to rob a bank. Nick turns to his only friend (Aziz Ansari) to help with the heist.
The laid-back (nearly comatose) Eisenberg and the frantic Ansari strike a perfect comic harmony. When director Ruben Fleischer keeps the focus on these two guys – the best idiot buddies since Harold and Kumar went to White Castle – the movie is pure, energetic fun.
Then McBride enters the picture as the mastermind behind the robbery. His obnoxious, over-the-top comedy style sucks the life and fun right out of the movie.
Swarsdon, the other partner in crime, tries to make it work, but when a performance is as bad as McBride’s, nothing can cut the smell.
The title pretty much sums it up: There’s about “30 Minutes or Less” of comedy in this film.
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