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Bonus movie review: 30 Minutes or Less

Posted Friday, August 26, 2011, at 4:08 PM

Last night, I met with a friend who is moving to North Carolina Monday. She was stressed about the move and I was hoping to cheer her up, so we headed to a movie theater for a comedy.

Thankfully, there were two options: "30 Minutes or Less" and "Our Idiot Brother." I ultimately want to see both, but had a hunch that the latter choice may be sappier, or maybe even sad at times (I don't know yet if my hunch is right), so we headed to "30 Minutes or Less."

It wasn't quite the funniest movie I've ever seen -- that distinction would have to go to either "Big Daddy," "Role Models" or "Hangover" -- but I was laughing throughout and the groans were limited, especially considering one particular member of the cast.

That member would be Danny McBride, who played Dwayne, the crazy character wanting to hire a hitman to kill his over-bearing dad, a former army major who won the lottery (Fred Ward).

I agree with Randy that McBride is best in small doses, and that was the case here.

The so-called star of the show was Jesse Eisenberg of "The Social Network" and "Zombieland," which was also directed by this film's director, Ruben Fleischer.

Don't get me wrong, he was very good as Nick, the pizza delivery guy who gets kidnapped, has a bomb strapped on his chest and is forced to rob a bank. But, it seemed a lot like his other characters, though he was somehow a bit of the "straight character" in the scenario.

Aziz Ansari, known for his role on the show "Parks and Rec" and bits on shows like "Flight of the Conchords,"completely stole the show as Chet, though. Just about every time I was laughing out loud, he was involved. I don't even know how to describe it really. He delivered the best lines in the most humorous ways.

The final "big name" was Nick Swardson, who played Dwayne's partner in crime, Travis. This performance was just another signal of his growing popularity. (Look for him as Bucky Larson soon.) Somehow, Swardson pulls off this character who seems really dumb, but his character develops as the film progresses.

Speaking of the progress of the film, I should probably do that, eh?

Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, Nick gets kidnapped by Dwayne and Travis. Ironically, he'd had a fight with Chet the night before, yet he finds himself going to the school where Chet works to ask for himself. Here, Chet drops arguably the best line of the movie before agreeing to help Nick, as long as Nick stops talking to his sister. (A past fling between the two was part of the reason for the fight).

So, they join forces and try to push back against Dwayne and Travis. Later on, the actual hit man (Michael Peņa) gets into the mix. One wouldn't think a hit man should be funny, but Peņa pulls it off at different parts.

So, the plot gets fairly thick considering this is a comedy. My friend was actually freaking out and covering her eyes at one point.

Over all, though, we agreed that it was a great flick.

Borrowing Randy's scale, I'd have to give it 3.5 out of 5 buckets of popcorn. You should probably put some butter on it to help it slide down, and also have a large drink to help avoid a choking scenario, because it's hard to swallow and laugh at the same time!

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