03 October 2012

Film: 30 Minutes Or Less (2011)

Thoughts: I must admit, I fell in with the flow of the film from the word go. 30 Minutes Or Less hits its marks in under 85 minutes, and with its stoner/slacker ethos, it perfectly encapsulates the kind of fun, unassuming, relaxing entertainment that is sorely lacking in the current movie climate. It succeeds by approaching humour the way great stand-up comics do: poking fun at the mundane, obvious, everyday stuff we barely notice. Its these little moments that make for great laughs, and with a great cast and cracking script, it provides fun and good times in a neat little delivery.

The film centres around a very bad day for one Nick (Jesse Eisenberg, having fun), lazy twenty-something pizza boy with nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it. His best mate Chet (Aziz Ansari, also having fun) has moved on with life, but still finds time to entertain his slacker bud. Unfortunately for both, they're about to get rolled up in the dunder-headed scheming of two wannabe gangsters named Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson) who decide that killing Dwayne's rich father is the best way to quick cash. But hiring a killer is expensive, about 100k kind of expensive. But the boys have a plan: get someone else to find the money for them. And unluckily for Nick, he's about to have a timed bomb strapped to his chest, and 10 hours to come up with the dough.

The film takes ridiculous ideas, and grounds them in reality, and that, in my opinion, is the mark of great ideas and execution. The film is very conversation heavy, but with the talent involved and the witty script providing the delicious base, the actors conjure just enough character during the crazy to allow you the chance to fully invest in the goings on. Actions have consequences; it's like the entire idea is ludicrous, but once all the dominoes are in place from point A, getting to point B is all based on people making decisions. It makes for a great experience, really, and one that doesn't wear on the viewer.

The film toys with action conventions over the shenanigans, like Pineapple Express before it. Where the aforementioned title willingly went waaay over the edge (which isn't a problem, I freakin' LOVE that film), 30 Minutes Or Less sticks to the rules it lays out, and follows through on its promises by closing. Its harmless fun really, and demands nothing from the viewer but the opportunity to please. Basically, check this little gem out, and I'd say you'll be pleasantly surprised. Whoever said films weren't supposed to be just plain entertaining anymore?


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