Friday, December 2, 2011

Man on Film: 30 Minutes or Less

This is the last of the woefully past due write-ups. In less than a week, the internet issues that I've been persevering through should be solved, which can re-open The Queue Continuum window. All will soon be right in the world. With the release of 30 Minutes or Less on DVD and Blu-ray this week, now seems as good a time as any to get this out there. 

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, whose first feature was flawed but likable Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less actually seemed less uneven than his first more favorably received film. Where Zombieland was an 80-minute movie with a 20-minute vacuum of nothingness interspersed in sizable chunks, 30 Minutes or Less is actually surprisingly evenly paced. Its premise, while not entirely fresh, plays out well, putting a fresh, comedic spin on the ticking time bomb scenario.

More importantly, it is--thanks in large part to Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride--pretty funny. Given McBride's and to a lesser degree Nick Swardson's talents, they prove extremely capable of playing an inept band of redneck foils for Jesse Eisenberg's slacker delivery driver, Nick. While Ansari's role of high school teacher and Nick's best friend, Chet is a bit reserved and doesn't allow for him to really spread his wings, perhaps this is for the better. Ansari's comic timing is great. With Swardson and McBride in the mix, having an Aziz Ansari in a rough reprisal of his role (at least in spirit) of Randy in Funny People would likely be overkill. Michael Pena's presence is always welcome as well, even if Chango is underused. And if you spent the years of 2000 and 2001 fantasizing about Bianca Kajlich on Boston Public, your dreams are realized here as she plays Juicy. Judging by the character's name, you should be able to ballpark what her occupation may be.

Now 30 Minutes or Less wasn't a perfect film, but its decidedly tepid reception seemed a bit odd to me. It was an enjoyable if not earth-shattering film. As a rental or movie that will soon be making the rounds on the premium cable networks, it will be easy to watch multiple times. As far as a comedy is concerned, that's likely the most important thing. It is rewatchable, if not ownable.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...