Thursday, August 11, 2011

'30 Minutes or Less' has its moments

What happens when slackers meet thugs? Not enough that's funny.
You'll find a few funny moments in 30 Minutes or Less, director Rubin Fleischer's indigestible follow-up to the more inventive and funnier Zombieland. Fleischer's latest R-rated comedy pits slackers against thugs in an effort to create an explosive comic environment, but not all the humor ignites. **** Jesse Eisenberg, who played brilliant Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, dumbs down to portray a pizza delivery boy who's coerced into robbing a bank with a pal (Aziz Ansari). **** How does that happen? Two dopey thugs (Danny McBride's Dwayne and Nick Swardson's Travis) order a pizza and then strap a bomb to Eisenberg's Nick. If he doesn't come up with $100,000, they'll blow him up. **** Dwayne, a foul-mouthed miscreant, needs $100,000 to hire a hit man (Michael Pena) to bump off his father (Fred Ward), a mean-ass former Marine who happened to win at Lotto and figures to leave Dwayne a hefty sum of money. **** Eisenberg, who starred in Zombieland, spends the movie's fleet 83-minutes being flustered, and McBride too often comes off as more offensive than funny. **** Fleischer may have been trying for a fresh and funny take on gritty crime movies. Although he manages to come up with a surprisingly punchy final joke, Fleischer's approach works only fitfully, and 30 Minutes or Less fails to rise to the top of a long list of equally foul-mouthed predecessors.

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