30 Minutes or Less
How can we identify with a pizza delivery boy who's had a bomb strapped to his chest in a plot that steals the absolute worst parts from films like "Heat," "Speed" and "Speed 2: Cruise Control"? The answer is, we can't – not even a little bit.
When I first saw the trailer for "30 Minutes or Less," I was confused. Was this a secret documentary that had been produced about my life, without my knowledge? How did they know so many details about my dead-end job, empty personal relationships and slick 1990 Ford Mustang GT fastback?
After watching "30 Minutes or Less," I came to the realization that this movie wasn't specifically about ME – it was actually sort of like attending my 10-year high school reunion. You have the pale, shiftless wiener (played by professional dork Jesse Eisenberg) who worked just hard enough to pay for weed, booze and gas each and every week. You have his ethnically diverse roommate (Aziz Ansari), doomed forever as a small American town's only non-Caucasian to suffer from the culturally-blunted explorations of equally cramped minds. You also have the local bully (Danny McBride), empowered by his family's wealth and stirred to the boiling point by his own raging impotence, and his idiot sidekick (Nick Swardson) who is desperately happy that the overwhelming nature of his bromance means he never has to develop a personality of his own.
But were does that leave us, the audience? How can we identify with a pizza delivery boy who's had a bomb strapped to his chest in a plot that steals the absolute worst parts from films like "Heat," "Speed" and "Speed 2: Cruise Control"? The answer is, we can't – not even a little bit. Honestly, who cares if the guy who sat beside you in home room has his brains splattered all over a jumbo meat lover's? It's not like he ever responded to your clumsy sexual advances, or wrote back to the anonymous email account you setup so that you could tell him how beautiful a two-backed beast you could make together in your mom's Ford Aerostar.
Bullies always get what they deserve in the movies, so it's no surprise that it's McBride, and not Eisenberg who gets blown up in the final reel. That being said, it's hard to tell who actually suffered a worse fate. Sure, McBride's character is dead, but Eisenberg has to face up to the fact that he's 1 – a loser, 2 – unemployed and 3 – possibly moving to Atlanta to live with his best friend's sister, until he fucks that up too. Although he probably won't use anything as dramatic as a bomb, the next time. He'll probably just get her pregnant. Or become a child murderer. It's hard to tell where Atlanta's winds are blowing this time of year.
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