Generic comedy—now with no feeling!

Since we are all adults who understand that it usually takes over a year to make a single movie, it would be unfair of us to chastise Jesse Eisenberg for going from the best role of his life—Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network—to the worst, as Nick the pizza delivery boy in 30 Minutes or Less. He probably committed to this film two years ago, before anyone knew how revelatory his performance in The Social Network would be, or how generic and unfunny Minutes would be. But still: Jesus fucking Christ! We get hints in a sharp, mean-spirited opening scene that Eisenberg can act, but for the rest of the movie he flounders and fucks up his lines and looks mildly constipated. He simply can't do comedy. Like, at all.

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Not that he has any comedy to work with here. Minutes' plot features a kicky '80s-comedy hook (criminals strap a bomb to a slacker's chest and make him rob a bank for them), but it's dulled into a dumb, generic crime comedy featuring typecast actors doing their shtick one more time, with no feeling. Aziz Ansari plays a toned-down version of Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation, only without the clever lines of the TV show. Danny McBride leans into his Southern-fried narcissistic doltishness for the 15th role in a row (I counted). Nick Swardson is the kinda-amusing sidekick.

Besides a fairly tense robbery scene, it's a forgettable mess. You'll laugh once or twice, but the boring crap you'll have to sit through to get those laughs simply isn't worth it. (For example, there are a whole lot of gay panic jokes, because one guy giving another guy a blowjob is apparently the funniest thing anyone has ever heard, ever.) I can think of no good reason why, in this summer of strong R-rated comedies like Bridesmaids and Horrible Bosses, this kind of shit should be rewarded by moviegoers. I'll give you the same advice I wish I could've given Jesse Eisenberg when he agreed to do this movie as his Social Network follow-up: Wait for something better to come along. recommended