Join me around the campfire and enjoy this mess of beans I cooked up, because you’ll need your strength of another Review Roundup! The 30 Minutes or Less reviews are in, and let’s just say if you include a period of time in your movie’s title, you are setting yourself up for some hot buttery zingers.
The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis writes, “Sometimes a rude and crude comedy is simply scraping the bottom of the barrel, despite the efforts of a talent like Mr. Eisenberg and of second bananas like Mr. Ansari and Mr. Swardson. Mr. McBride, on the other hand, is fast wearing out his welcome with a character type who, with a deep-fried accent and a pudd’nhead, could be called the cretinous cracker. It’s a shtick that helps makes the title of 30 Minutes or Less sound like a cruel promise.” The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday concurs, adding “Eisenberg’s chilly diffidence only makes the screenwriters of 30 Minutes or Less seem more cynical; McBride literally phones it in, in long, talky, deadly-dull expository sequences. Would that 30 Minutes or Less lived up to its title. Even under 90, it feels interminable.”
Not that everyone panned the film; The New York Post’s Lou Lumenick writes, “30 Minutes or Less may be tasteless, moronic and lacking in any redeeming social value whatsoever. But for me, at least, it was gut-bustingly funny – perhaps this waning summer season’s ultimate guilty pleasure.” Like several reviewers, Roger Ebert throws down for the film’s performers, if not it’s actual content. “The driver, named Nick, is played by Jesse Eisenberg, in an unfortunate career move after The Social Network,” Ebert says. “He was so good in that film that it is impossible to believe him as a character a dumb as Nick. For comparison, try to imagine George Clooney, Ben Kingsley and John Malkovich playing the Three Stooges.”
Some critics couldn’t separate the film from the gruesome real-life story it resembles, which as you can imagine, sort of made the whole thing an exercise in perversity. Time’s Richard Corliss rants,”For a soul-sucking 83 minutes, you’re trapped inside the film’s tiny, ugly mind. 30 Minutes, though, doesn’t aspire to satire’s grand misanthropy; it simply straps the bomb plot to buddy-movie feel-bad fun — sort of Zuck & Kumar Go to Pieces, or Dwayne & Travis’s Crapulous Misadventure.” Explains Willie Waffle,” If you know the real story, you might find it hard to believe this is a comedy. Even if you don’t know the real story, you might find it hard to believe this is a comedy.” Like a swarm of wasps, these zingers!