30 Minutes Or Less (2011) Flash Review

30 Minutes Or Less
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg; Aziz Ansari; Danny McBride; Michael Pena; Nick Swardson.
Plot: Two fledgling criminals kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest, and inform him that he has mere hours to rob a bank or else…

Ruben Fleischer’s stamp on this film was so apparent that I assumed this film was made by the same guy who made Zombieland before I even looked it up. So, with that statement made, you might want to check this out if you’re a fan ofZombieland and its somewhat bizarre and ‘take it as it comes’ sense of humour.

In many ways, this picture benefitted from its almost absurdly short 83 minute run-time as it meant there was very little time for idle chit-chat or any sort of ‘deep connection’ to the characters; things that would remove you, as the viewer, from the point of the film… To be a ‘take it as it comes’ comedy that makes little sense but is fun to watch.

As a warning, I’d suggest that you don’t expect as much from this film as was delivered in the director’s previous work because despite its incredible similarities in style, pacing and comedy, it’s not quite what Zombieland was: A ‘watch over and over again’ movie. In truth, this can be owed to its lack of nostalgic feel and its relatively obvious avoidance of some of the gruesome slow-mo’s that put Zombieland on the map. Furthermore, the subject matter of a bank heist/hostage situation affords the writers, director and actors little to no room to change the sub-genre in the way they did for zombie movies with Zombieland.

As a stand alone film, however, this picture is incredibly watchable. Its tongue-in-cheek attitude makes it an easy watch for a Sunday night as you wind down for the work week ahead. It’d be even better as a picture to tune into while eating a take-out with friends. But, 30 Minute Or Less isn’t the sort of film you’re likely to want to watch again, once you’ve seen it.

My suggestion is this: Give it a try on Netflix if you like Zombieland or have an interest in a silly casual viewing.