30 Minutes or Less

Little-known fact: When I was in college, I was the pizza-delivering Movie Critic Next Door. Well, okay, I was just a pizza delivery driver, not yet a movie critic of any sort. Yes, I was the only female driver, and yes, I worked for Domino's, though the 30-minute guarantee was already a thing of the past. It was not, however, a guarantee of a free pizza; you actually got a coupon for $3 off your next order or something like that.

Here, it's a guarantee of a free pizza, since that's the gimmick at Vito's Pizza. Since they appear to have a delivery area that encompasses half of lower Michigan, I have a feeling that poor Nick, played by Jesse Eisenberg of Zombieland, ends up having a lot of money being docked from his paycheck, since he's the one that suffers when it's late. Mean, mean boss.

Anyway, pizza delivery drivers don't normally drive like that, trust me; but it's more dramatic to have him racing around like a NASCAR driver and doing bootlegger turns, so he does. He has a roommate, Chet, played by Aziz Ansari from Get Him to the Greek, who has a new job as a history teacher and a shiny new laser pointer. His roommate has a lovely twin sister named Kate, played by the lovely Dilshad Vasaria of the TV show "Greek", and Nick has a terrible crush on her but she has no idea. The classic lovable loser, in other words.

Enter Dwayne, aka Danny McBride from Kung Fu Panda 2; and Dwayne's buddy and general punching bag Travis, played by Nick Swardson of Bolt. Dwayne is tired of living in his father's shadow, the father being played by Fred Ward of Armored. He's an ex-Marine and has no patience with his son, who seems to be chronically unemployed and definitely stupid. Ditto goes for Travis, and I think he might also be mooching off of Dwayne's dad. That's not so bad as it might seem, since Dad won $10 million in the lottery a while back.

Dwayne wants whatever's left of the money, after his father has bought a big house and several tricked-out pickup trucks, but Dad is taking too long to die and Dwayne can't wait for the cash. Though actually, with only $10 million to start, that probably isn't much, anyway, so I'm not sure what the big deal is. Then a dancer at the local gentleman's club suggests that a friend of hers from Detroit would be glad to get rid of dad for the right price, say $100,000. They're Juicy and Chango, respectively, played by Bianca Kajlich of the TV show "Rules of Engagement" and Michael Peña of Battle Los Angeles, also respectively. I think Juicy is probably a stage name.

Travis, while not the brightest bulb, does know a lot about blowing things up. That, I think, is actually the entire basis for his friendship with Dwayne. They figure out a way to use that knowledge to persuade some poor schmuck to rob a bank for them, since they can't get the $100,000 without killing Dad, and they can't get Dad killed without the $100,000. And here we come back around to the poor schmuck in question, pizza delivery driver Nick.

After that there are lots of guns, both real and fake, secret meetings, misunderstandings, and people getting shot. Oh, and car chases, of course, and lots of swearing. But it isn't all as predictable as it sounds, thankfully, though unfortunately it isn't always as funny as it might be, either. Jesse Eisenberg is pretty much the best actor of the bunch, strangely, though maybe that isn't so strange. He always plays fundamentally the same sort of character as far as I can tell, but he does it pretty well, he's done it a fair number of times by now, and hey, it works for George Clooney. Sometimes when Chet was talking I was looking for the teleprompter. Dwayne did all right, but he had an uphill battle with the script. Sometimes he was reasonably smart, and sometimes dumb as a post, and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to that. Travis was the same way, though to a lesser extent, and somehow I ended up liking the character despite that.

So despite the fact that the main reason I went to this flick was because I couldn't bear the thought of going to see Final Destination 47 -- I mean five -- it really wasn't as dreadful as I was afraid it would be. I'll give it three out of five, though if you're into the whole comedy-buddy flick sort of thing, you'll probably like it three and a half out of five. That isn't quite my cup of tea, but I can appreciate that it was reasonably well-done. I mean, the two buddies are awful to each other, but that's apparently a guy thing. Oh, and there's also a teaser bit after the credits. I can't really recommend it, as it was particularly silly, but it does tie up some of the loose ends. And nearly everyone is a loose end in this film at one point or another.

Image: 
Jesse Eisenberg in the Planet of the Apes. Okay, the crooks have weird masks.

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Wait that makes no sense at

Wait that makes no sense at all. If they they get Nick to rob a bank why the hell would they need to only grab 100,000 to kill their father? Why not um I don't know just rob the freakin' bank for 10 million. This movie really does sound like very poor writing and plot gimmicks. It sounds like people who didn't know how to write and just tried to make it look as complicated as they could by throwing in unnecessary characters and cheap thrills. But lets be honest this is what Hollywood is all about. I can't relate to movies nowadays because the characters are far too dramatic and have no interesting personality. Take me back to the days of action movies like the untouchables please. There are amazing moments in that movie that you can really examine and get the sense of what a character is about and not by what they say but how they act.

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