Film Review: 30 Minutes or Less (2011)

SYNOPSIS:

Two fledgling criminals kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest, and inform him that he has mere hours to rob a bank or else…

REVIEW:

Oh boy where to start…

I guess I need to start with Kevin Smith… He has NOTHING TO DO with this film –that I know of… But Kevin Smith is the place to start, more specifically the influence of his film “Clerks” on a legion film makers … Forgive me for starting with Kevin Smith and his relation to “30 Minutes or Less” the reason why I apologize is well, I think best explained with this analogy: I’m going to go down the block to my local Tampa 7-11 by way of the Andes Mountains…

Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” had some pretty sharp dialogue in it at time when movies “like that” could exist. The 90’s were suddenly awash with independent films or rather studio’s figured out “hey it’s cheaper to BUY an already made film rather than risk investing in something that might not get made cause our star throws a fit and breaches contract. Every now and then a low risk investment like “Clerks” becomes a hit…

Ah, the Andes and their beautiful cannibalizing soccer teams…

So “Clerks” blows up and then you get a whole generation of film makers with stars in their eyes and dreams of being that famous bearded fat guy, no not Santa Clause… And they start to write dialogue JUST LIKE KEVINS SMITHS…

Mind you a lot of film professors get hung up on the Syd Filed method and teach CRAFT not ART, so the alcohol soaked brain of your average film student works on analyzing paradigms and the train of thought goes like this …

Okay so in “Clerks” there was dialogue like this:

“ The jizz-mopper’s job is to clean off the glass after each guy shoots a load. I don’t know if you noticed, but cum leaves streaks if you don’t clean it right away. “

So in my film I’ll have the dialogue between my characters that goes like this:

“I’m gonna give my girlfriend a raspberry creamer, you know, when she’s blowing you and punch her face you as you give her a facial…”

YES, they are “different” but if you look at these two sentences there is a whole lot of the “same sh*t” going on…

A “jizz-mopper” and a “raspberry creamer” are often less discussed things unless you either frequent strip clubs or you’re a date rapist. And you have in Smith case a something filthy and funny, in film student’s case you just have something trying to recycle a paradigm … but it doesn’t work… Like if Devine didn’t eat real dog poo at the end of “Pink Flamingos” and it was just a chocolate bar… The whole film would have been lost…

And of course Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarintino opened another gate way in dialogue… that is one for incessant pop culture stroking.

So now our film student does his rewrite and we get:

“Dude, next time I’m watching Rocky and my girl is blowing me, every time Rocky gets hit in the face I’m gonna give my girlfriend a raspberry creamer, that’s when a girl’s blowing you and right as you cum you punch her in the nose, you know, so it bleeds into the jizz on her face…”

Okay, we have been to the mountains, we are back at Lima, we are getting on the plane and we are leaving Peru for Tampa FL … Yes, I need to write all that so I can explain to you “30 Minutes or Less” in one sentence:

“30 Minutes or Less” is a film student writing the second piece of raspberry creamer dialogue over and over for 90 minutes… or less … 83 minutes actually…

And it is in fact the first screenplay by Michael Diliberti. Movie number 2 for director Ruben Fleischer, who’s other film, is “Zombie Land” and I guess that is how this is all related to horror and thus this review…

“30 Minutes or Less” is a light hearted comedy about some slackers who want to kill their dad for money so they strap some plastic explosives on onto slacker pizza guy (unrelated to the first 2 slackers) and give him x amount of hours to go rob a bank so they can pay a hit man or they will blow him up, the pizza boy slacker that is, not the hit man they want to hire… Okay we just touched down in Tampa International Air Port… Welcome to humidity folks.

This film is just an overabundance of slackers doing “witty” slacker things and having allegedly witty slacker dialogue…Let us thusly slack some more… Thank you Ferris Bueller, may all your day’s off be tranquil and distanced from creepy Jeffery Jones… Check out his arrest record someday…

The cast is a bunch of actors that I really don’t dig Jessie Eisenburg (“Zombie Land,” “The Social Network,”) Aziz Ansari (“I love you Man,”) Danny McBride (“Pineapple Express,”) but then there is Nick Swardson who I enjoy a.k.a. “Terry” on “Reno 911” and Fred Ward… Which I think Fred doesn’t know how to “just say no” being that this is film like 70 something for him… but I think he does his job well in this…

“30 Minutes or Less” isn’t a total f*cking car crash of film… and maybe I’m just old… but I didn’t find it really funny, I found it to be kind of just a recycled paradigm in the writing. The film is a fine piece of craft in the end writing with no art to it. I don’t know what I wanted from this film… but at the end of the day I didn’t get it…

30 Minutes or Less (2011)

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About Josh Darling

Writer, cartoonist, social anarchist and born again atheist, horror, cult and B-movie enthusiast Josh Darling divides his time between trying to raise or steal the money and equipment to make his own low budget opuses, writing reviews for HorrorNews.Net and raising 4 children to survive the Zombie Apocalypse. He is currently working on a pro-atheist comic book series called "The Adventures of Pete and Steve" done in the style of religious "tracks."


As a child he was forbidden to watch horror films and due to said film being a taboo he became obsessed with them. Later during a deep depression while working at a video store back in 1995 Josh started watching 3 - 7 movies a day and by best guess has probably seen close to 20,000 films. He owns thousands of rare and hard to find horror, art and silent films. Please do not ask him for a copy of "La Fin Absolute De Mond" because he will not share it.

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