We Found Our Generation’s Brando – 30 Minutes Or Less

30 Minutes Or Less is a comedy about a pizza delivery guy. A bomb is strapped to his body and will detonate unless he can deliver a hundred thousand dollars in ten hours to his captors. Jesse Eisenberg plays the pizza delivery guy as his trademark neurotic (although a bit cockier than usual). Danny McBride is the nutso who traps the bomb to his chest and basically plays the same entitled Redneck role as he does on the HBO show Eastbound And Down.  

There are some amusing moments to this movie (even though it probably should have been called Ten Hours Or Less). It is the type of mindless action comedy hybrid you could watch a hundred times if it was playing on TV as you were flipping channels without remembering if you had ever seen it, but you wouldn’t be upset if you watched it again. There is even a scene with nudity for you to look forward to.

None of these dime a dozen qualities make this movie worth discussing. The only noteworthy aspect of 30 Minutes Or Less is the “performance” of Aziz Ansari as Jessie Eisenberg’s partner in crime. He is astonishing. From the first word he utters it feels as if something is a bit off. After a couple scenes you realize he delivers every line with the exact same cadence. Circumstance means nothing to the man. It gets to the point where you wonder if he pulled the technique that Marlon Brando wanted to use in his later films where he would wear an earpiece. Each line would be read to Brando, so his performance would not be saddled down by having to learn the script. 

There is one scene where Eisenberg tells Aziz he slept with his twin sister. Aziz is supposed to get pissed and attack Eisenberg, which he does, but halfway through the fight he kind of stops caring. The fight continues, but Eisenberg is the only one selling the fight. Aziz is still on the ground, but not realy doing anything except perhaps trying to remember his next line.

Aziz is a stand-up comedian that I am sure I have seen in other movies, but as I watched his beyond wooden acting I was left wondering about the intentions of the filmmakers in casting him. Were they thinking he was a big enough name to draw in a crowd that his acting skills be damned or did they think since they were making a comedy, awful acting could only make things funnier? Whatever their motives were, it worked. I’m ready to see Aziz make Hamlet a laugh riot.

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