Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) is a small town pizza delivery guy whose mundane life collides with the big plans of two wanna-be criminal masterminds (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson). The volatile duo kidnaps Nick and forces him to rob a bank. With mere hours to pull off the impossible task, Nick enlists the help of his ex-best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari). As the clock ticks, the two must deal with the police, hired assassins, flamethrowers, and their own tumultuous relationship.
Rambunctious and unpredictable, action-comedy 30 Minutes or Less
manages to be simultaneously cynical and softhearted, which is quite a trick. A disgruntled pizza delivery guy named Nick (The Social Network
's Jesse Eisenberg) gets his life hijacked by two dimwitted yet canny thugs (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson), who need $100,000 to hire a hit man--so they strap a bomb to Nick and order him to rob a bank. So many little twists and turns follow that it would ruin the fun to describe the plot any further; suffice it to say that 30 Minutes or Less
takes a high-concept idea and grounds it in well-written characters, an outstanding cast, and some brutally funny bits. But what really makes 30 Minutes or Less
so sympathetic is not the buddy relationship between Nick and his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari from Parks and Recreation
), though that's thoroughly enjoyable--it's the buddy relationship between the two would-be hoodlums that holds the movie's heart. McBride has stolen scenes in dozens of comedies now; his ability to be a complete, unrepentant lummox and yet shimmer with charisma is unmatched. Swardson (from Reno 911!
) miraculously matches McBride's comic chutzpah. They are ridiculous and surly buffoons, and they are a delight. --Bret Fetzer