Friday, 16 September 2011

[505] 30 Minutes Or Less (2011) Review

Here's my latest review for Little White Lies, which proves that I can be as snarky as the best of them. I'm thinking of ordering a rubber stamp which says 'insultingly phallocentric' and having my merry way with the DVD section in HMV.

A serious aside: I find it interesting how 30 Minutes Or Less is getting a much easier ride from UK-based reviewers than their US counterparts. My review has much more in common with Ebert, Brody and Corliss ('For a soul-sucking 83 minutes, you're trapped inside the film's tiny, ugly mind.'), while my colleagues on this side of the pond, from Peter Bradshaw to David Jenkins, seem to be innocently entertained by the flick. Bradshaw even gave it four stars! Curious.

As is becoming more common by the day, the best way to grasp deadbeat heist comedy 30 Minutes or Less is to look at how it treats not its male protagonists, but its female supporting characters.

There are only a handful of women in the film, and only two are given names in the credits. One of them is Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria), the pretty, ambitious city professional who just can’t tear herself away from lead loser Nick (an improbable Jesse Eisenberg). The other is a callous stripper called Juicy (Bianca Kajlich), who seduces slacker extraordinaire Dwayne (Danny McBride) into formulating a plan to bump off his rich father.

Hackneyed caricatures, both, but at least they’re not relegated to the role of ‘Hot Girl’ or, heaven forbid, a cameo as the pliant chick who gives Nick’s best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) a supposedly uncomfortable, front-seat blowjob.

It’s not that the gents are any better filled out, but 30 Minutes or Less is entirely focused on their world, and is only interested in their manchildish dilemmas, exploring the conflict between laziness and responsibility while joyfully celebrating a lifestyle of film marathons, Call of Duty and Mountain Dew.

Read the full article here.

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