30 Minutes or Less: Why Would Anyone Want to Blow Up Jesse Eisenberg?

Danny McBride and Nick Swardson play Dwayne and Travis, a duo of going-nowhere types who, on the advice of a stripper, decide to off Dwayne's hard-ass, Lotto-winning ex-Marine of a dad and live off the inheritance. They need $100,000 up front for the hit man, so Dwayne and Travis elect to raise the funds by kidnapping a patsy, strapping him into a C4-studded vest, and giving him 10 hours to rob a bank. Jesse Eisenberg's pizza delivery boy Nick soon becomes that patsy. Despite its broad resemblance to a true-crime story, there are nearly one million logical leaps made in the course of setting up this Rube Goldberg device of a plot—but watching the film clear each one becomes its own goofy pleasure. Completing the quartet of comic leads is Aziz Ansari as Nick's estranged friend, who in one hilarious bit explains he's helping not for Nick's sake, but because letting his ex-friend blow up might one day begin to affect his "relationships with other people." Had the movie committed to such an acerbic tone throughout, it might have approached the inspired amorality of the Coen brothers. But instead, 30 Minutes or Less quickly retrenches behind the emotional lines of standard-issue bro humor: The man-boys can't communicate except by calling each other pussies, yet male bonding is still one of the script's third-act goals. This sop to sentiment is disappointing from a movie that otherwise feels free to make a suicide vest into a comic device.

 
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