Friday, August 26, 2011

30 Minutes or Less

Get out your fake guns and ski masks because we're reviewing 30 minutes or less!
"How will lil' Aziz and Eisenberg try to get that bomb off this week?" You're welcome Hollywood, for making something even more ridiculous based off the true events.

This is a tough movie to review. This isn't a straight good or bad decision, there are aspects I like and aspects I don't.

Nick(Jesse Eisenberg) is a pizza delivery boy with no aspirations. When two thugs(Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) strap a bomb to his chest and force him to rob a bank, he has no choice but to call on his friend Chet(Aziz Ansari) to help him go through with the robbery. Hilarity ensues.

The best parts of this movie are definatly Eisenberg and Ansari.  They're both really funny and they have great chemistry. If you've liked them in other things, you'll like them here. McBride and Swardson do an ok job, but nothing spectacular and nothing you haven't seen before.  It should be noted that the humor is really crud with generous helpings of profanity and also nudity.  Also alot of racial humor, which may or may not be your cup of tea.

The movie overall is pretty funny, with a number of hilarious bits, but even with all of that, it's hard to get out of my head that this movie is based on actual tragic events. It kind of ruins the fun of it all. While Eisenberg is freaking out about the bomb strapped to his chest, in the back of your mind, you ask yourself, "Should I be laughing at this?" Oh, and it doesn't help that the directors and producers are completly denying it was based on real events.

I could see explanations for doing something like this-trying to make the best of a horrible situation, writing an end to a story where the main character gets out ok, demonizing the bad guys as much as possible, giving some of the proceeds to the family of the victim-but flat out denying it? Really, really not cool.  I know you should just judge a film based on its merits alone, but it's hard to enjoy a comedy with that in the back of your mind.

Story structure wise, I actually like how everything is plotted, up until the very last part.  Nick is at a low point, him and Chet fight, Nick finds his man-balls and things start to work out, then they fall all follows basic structure and flows nicely.  I like how there are different characters with their own wants and desires, and the movie gives each the appropriate amount of screentime. But right after the climax, things just fall apart. The ending feels like they left something out(I fully expected McBride to learn something, but that didn't happen) and it ends on sort of a weird unexpected note for Nick and Chet.  Their ending just sorta doesn't make sense.

The action and chase scenes are nice, and they're suitable anticlimactic for a comedy. It doesn't have that problem of some movies where it doesn't know if it's a comedy or an action movie; it knows it's a comedy and throws a well-placed monkey wrench into what the characters are expecting for a cliched action sequence.  They're funny and include a number of "Oh Snap!" moments.

Why you should see it: Eisenberg and Ansari at their comedic best in a ridiculous situation.
Downfalls: Said situation is based on true events that kind of kill some of the funny and the ending falls apart.
Overall: I think it's funny enough to check out but not necessarily a must-see.
One Scene Metaphor: The actual bank robbery scene which doesn't go as well as Nick and Chet hoped.  It's funny how they interact with each other and the people in the bank, but Nick, getting annoyed, says, "I am  a regular person! Thank you so much for fucking over a regular person!" Based on true events, people.

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