'30 Minutes or Less': What Critics Say

Sony Pictures

Ruben Fleischer’s comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg is called both “frustratingly uneven" and a "fitfully funny farce."

With the pairing of Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer and star Jesse Eisenberg, hopes were high that Colombia’s comedy 30 Minutes or Less would hit the same funny bone. However, critics were overall disappointed with the comedy, especially criticizing the pace of the film, calling it “frustratingly uneven.”

While some critics praised a particular chase scene in the film, many also pointed out that Eisenberg did not seem to fit in the role. The film, also starring Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson, hit theaters on Friday, August 12.

The Hollywood Reporter
’s Kirk Honeycutt wrote: “Among other sad aspects to this particular movie is the depressing sight of otherwise good actors trapped in such sheer badness.”

Honeycutt points that that the film’s “major flaw is extreme dullness. When a script is this bare-bones bad, actors overcompensate by increasing their antics with each scene and trying too hard to find laughs where none exists.”

REVIEW: 30 Minutes or Less

As did many other critics, Honeycutt praised one chase scene: “Fleischer stages one chase scene with a bit of comic flair but otherwise never locates that mix of macabre action and comedy that at least made Zombieland amusing.”

“Eisenberg is a good actor, which may be why he's wrong for this dumb comedy,” wrote Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“There is something annoying about a comedy where a guy is strapped to a bomb and nevertheless has time to spare for off-topic shouting matches with his best buddy,” Ebert pointed out. “A buddy comedy loses some of its charm in a situation like that.”

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“It's frustratingly uneven, despite some appealing moments of buddy camaraderie,” wrote the AP’s Christy Lemire. “It feels way longer than its brief running time, not just because of its stop-and-start pacing but also because it looks so drab and dingy, it's really unpleasant to watch.”

Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel called the film a “fitfully funny farce, a caper comedy with blood and bad language.”

 “The dialogue is a snowstorm of swear words, played for shock value,” he continued. “And despite an invigorating chase and some violent and violently funny bits, the pacing is haphazard, as if characters need reminding that the clock is ticking.”