30 Minutes or Less, Jesse Eisenberg

<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Ruben Fleischer. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Aziz Ansari.

Yes it’s from the director of the cult hit Zombieland (which also starred Eisenberg). No, it isn’t as funny or wildly eccentric as that film. Most of it has been shot in some small town, in vacant parking lots and abandoned junkyards. Lots of sexual references, vulgarity and inanity make up the dialogue. Sure you’ll get a laugh out of it at times. Probably 30 seconds worth. Maybe less.

If you like vulgar farces then you might like this film. I have to say there were people laughing at some of the stuff in here. I for one didn’t find much funny about it. First of all, our Indian censors have chopped a lot of the swear words and sexual content. Don’t worry, there is still more than you’d expect left in there. If there weren’t then you’d probably have just a 30-minute film.

Our boy Eisenberg (brilliant in The Social Network, good in this one but doesn’t have much to work with) plays Nick, a pizza delivery boy who lands up on the doorstep of two losers (McBride, Swardson) who want him to rob a bank. This so one of them can pay off an assassin to shoot his father. To get Nick to do the needful they strap a bomb to his body, which they’ll deactivate only after the job is done. Oh the code to the bomb, which we find out at the end, is 696969, because that’s the goon’s favourite sexual position (if you don’t know what that is you probably shouldn’t see this film). Just so you know the level of humour we’re talking about here.

The movie is just over 80 minutes long. I think it’s probably 30 minutes longer than it should be. Debut writer Michael Diliberti must have thought he was churning out gold turds with this one. Pure gems of sleaze that people would love raw and uncut. Want a bet this film will go down as one of the worst comedies of all time. Because the filmmakers thought they could be stingy with the money but would get away with a cracking script. Unfortunately the only thing they cracked was the number of times they could say pussy, cock, fuck, dick, suck and tits.

But hey, if you do like that sorta comedy, then you may get some kicks out of this, in my opinion, drab and talentless production. Kudos to Eisenberg and Ansari though. They’ve managed to spin some of the material into an absurd caper with their relatively good chemistry.

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