Mr. Movie

'30 Minutes or Less' comes up short on plot

Jesse Eisenberg — who is always terrific — plays a bright young man whose life is going absolutely nowhere.

He is stuck in a job he hates. Eisenberg’s Nick delivers pizza for one of those places where your order is free if it isn’t there in 30 minutes or less.

Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, Your Highness) is the son of an abusive rich guy. McBride’s Dwayne is a drug-addled, sex-addicted loser tired of being daddy’s favorite target. His stripper girlfriend talks him into hiring a hit man to kill his father so he can have the inheritance before it’s all spent.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

He needs $100,000 to hire a killer.

The solution -- wrap a bomb around a pizza delivery guy and have him rob a bank. Enter Eisenberg’s Nick. His ability to get the job done before being blowing up is complicated by a relationship with his best friend’s sister and a snafu with the crazy hit man.

The always engaging Eisenberg slides easily into his now patented, hyper and slightly distracted character. McBride is a serious and charismatic comic talent with impeccable timing. Like in Pineapple Express and Your Highness, McBride’s exceptional skills are wasted. Again he plays a potty-mouthed character that is more focused on four-letter words than humorous dialogue.

The same can be said for the very funny, almost non-stop patter of newcomer Aziz Ansari, cast as Eisenberg’s best pal.

All that’s good about 30 Minutes or Less is the less. It comes in at under 90 minutes. Short and to the point works. Less — the theory goes — is more. Unfortunately, in the case of 30 Minutes or Less there isn’t much to the more.

More would have made less a less waste of time.

Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars

Rated R for language, drug use, mature themes, nudity. It opens Friday, Aug. 12 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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