The appearance of Danny McBride’s name in credits used to ignite a little spark of anticipation. Lately, it’s only made me sigh.
McBride isn’t the star of 30 Minutes or Less, but his shtick – vulgarity of the moronic variety – is the picture’s defining tone. Like Your Highness, a McBride vehicle from earlier this year, 30 Minutes or Less is obsessed with penis jokes, sex gags and political incorrectness of all kinds – yet those elements are never put to any sort of comic purpose. They’re just there, as if merely referencing a delicate body part is a joke in and of itself.
The convoluted plot centers on a pizza-delivery driver (Jesse Eisenberg) who is forced by a couple of redneck idiots (McBride and Nick Swardson) to rob a bank. Aziz Ansari is also on hand as a friend of the driver’s who gets roped into the heist.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer (Eisenberg’s partner on the fantastic Zombieland), 30 Minutes or Less is fun at first, especially an opening, “Dukes of Hazzard”-style sequence in which a pizza delivery is given the suspense of a climactic car chase. But then things get messier, meaner and cruder.
McBride, it seems, has only gotten lazier. In his early appearances – whether bit parts in big movies or his own indie vehicles – McBride put his inventively foul mouth in service of a particular character. His Cody, in Tropic Thunder, was a delightfully deranged pyromaniac, while his incompetent tae kwon do instructor of The Foot Fist Way was an idiot you inexplicably cared about.
In 30 Minutes or Less, McBride is yet another walking epithet you simply want to get away from.