Director Fleischer loses his way with ‘30 Minutes Or Less’

30 Minutes Or Less

(Cert 15, 79 mins, Comedy/Action/Thriller)

Dwayne (Danny McBride) and his pal Travis (Nick Swardson) cower in the shadow of Dwayne’s domineering father, The Major (Fred Ward), who won 10 million dollars on the lottery and has frittered away most of the cash.

Money-grabbing lap dancer Juici (Bianca Kajlich) suggests a radical solution: pay hit man Chongo (Michael Pena) to kill the old man.

Dwayne doesn’t have any money so he hatches a hare-brained scheme to kidnap pizza delivery guy Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), strap a bomb to his chest and then force the fall guy to rob a bank for the hit man’s extortionate fee.

With just 10 hours until the bomb explodes, Nick begs best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) to help him pull off the ambitious heist and evade the cops.

30 Minutes Or Less is a scatterbrained action-comedy that fails to build on the promise of director Ruben Fleischer’s impressive debut, Zombieland.

The title refers to the maximum permitted time for Nick to deliver each food order but should perhaps have also been the film’s total running time since the ideas in Michael Diliberti’s script are spread more thinly than the toppings on one of the thin crust pizza bases.

Characters are two-dimensional, the plot nonsensical and some of the filthy-minded humour leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

There are undoubted belly laughs but flashes of brilliance are few and far between, sadly outweighed by the characters’ inconsistent behaviour, lapses in logic and a lacklustre car chase to the thumping beat of the 1984 classic ‘The Heat Is On’ by Glenn Frey.

Rating: 2/5.

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