A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.
A Stanford law-school dropout named Jillian escapes to the anonymity of Los Angeles to figure out what she wants to do with her life, and on the day of her college boyfriend's birthday, she... See full summary »
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
The not so smart Dwayne intends to open a massage parlor with his partner Travis, but he does not have money for the investment. He decides to hire a hit-man to kill his father, The Major, who won a large amount of money in the lottery years ago, but the killer demands US$ 100,000 for the job. Dwayne and Travis kidnap the pizza delivery boy Nick and they dress Nick in a vest with a timer and several bombs. Then Dwayne tells Nick that he has ten hours to rob US$ 100,000 from a bank. Once he does, he would give Nick the code to release the vest. Nick summons his best friend Chet to help him in the heist but the scheme does not work the way Dwayne has plotted. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Zombieland, director Ruben Fleischer's first film, combined horror and comedy with an entertaining, but not very memorable, result. 30 Minutes or Less, his second film, combines comedy and thriller, but the result is exactly at the same level of the one from Zombieland.
30 Minutes or Less counts with a generally well written screenplay, likable characters and dialogs, and solid direction. But on the other hand, I did not find the comic component particularly funny, nor balanced with the dramatic elements in the correct proportions.
If the comic elements from 30 Minutes or Less had been deleted, the movie would have been an efficient thriller. However, the comedy changes the identity from the story pretty much, lightening its tone and occasionally sabotaging the tension we should have felt. The general effect is a curious amalgam of action and suspense, spiced with humor elements, which do not work on various moments. Nevertheless, I occasionally smiled during the movie...but not enough moments in order to consider 30 Minutes or Less a solid comedy. Let's say that this film was forced to work inside a genre it was not designed for.
Jesse Eisenberg brings a competent performance in 30 Minutes or Less as a normal man who is bound to reaction to the buffoons which surround him. The great Fred Ward is perfect in his role, and it was a pleasure to see him with the same intensity with which he amazed me 27 years ago in the underrated film Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. As for Dilshad Vadsaria, she is only employed as a pretty face, and her character is not very well written.
In conclusion, I think 30 Minutes or Less is an entertaining, but not very memorable, "thrill-omedy", whose main pros are the work from the cast and Fleischer's direction, something which makes it worthy of a moderate recommendation. However, I think the screenplay could have gone further in every single sense.
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