Posts Tagged ‘michael Pena’

30 MINUTES OR LESS review by John Delia

August 11th, 2011 No comments


DIRECTED BY Rubin Fleischer






Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Michael Pena and Fred Ward

Directed by: Rubin Fleischer   

MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence.

Genre: Action, comedy

Running Time: 1hr 23min

Opening Date: August 12, 2011

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing



By John Delia


The situation action comedy 30 Minutes or Less does a very good job of setting up the laughter while following a story that’s as idiotic as a 3 dollar bill.  The film moves along much like the title with very little time to catch your breath.  It’s a fantasy, but if you accept it then it’s a lot of fun.  If you like films such as Pineapple Express or Fun With Dick and Jane where there’s a lot of unreality with some measure of probability than you should check out 30 Minutes or Less.


Without giving a lot away the movie goes something like this.  Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) gets along in life delivering pizza in this small town where there’s not a lot of excitement. Involved in the plot are a couple of hapless delinquents Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson) who hatch a plan to knock off Dwayne’s father for the fortune.  Unfortunately the deal with Chango the hit man (Michael Pena) goes bad so the two kidnap Nick to rob a bank for the money to set the matter straight. But there wouldn’t bee a lot of fun if the plan worked out, now would it?


Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg in 30 MINUTES OR LESS

The actors make this scatterbrain plot work.  McBride plays his usual off-the-wall persona, Swardson kicks in his daffy comedy while Eisenberg uses his dead pan to make the mix work into a lot of laughs.  Throwing comedian Aziz Ansari as Nick’s best friend Chet who tries to make sense of it all becomes a bonus.


Ruben Fleischer on the set of 30 MINUTES OR LESS

Direction of any comedy takes a lot of vision and Rubin Fleischer (Zombieland) does a great job with timing making the situations screwy enough to elicit the necessary off the screen responses. Although the film’s plot is quite predictable, it’s the fun getting to the weird ending that makes it worth a see. 

Danny McBride and Nick Swardson a good team in 30 MINUTES OR LESS


On the downside, in addition to the predictability, I found Ansari’s performance a little too wacky, jumpy and unemotional.  But, that just might be me as I have not seen his role in TV’s ‘Parks and Recreation‘ to get enough feel for his kind of comedy.

Michael Pena as crazy Chango

On the upbeat, Michael Pena gives a hilarious performance as the Hispanic hired hit man who gets stiffed on his pay.  Going after Chet and Nick turns into some extremely funny ethnic comedy.  Pena is a mainstay with over 10 years in the film industry playing support characters in such films as The Lincoln Lawyer, Lions for Lambs and his other 26 movies.  Here he shows another side of his many faces inserting nervously scary comedy into 30 Minutes of Less.


30 Minutes or Less has been rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence.  VERY IMPORTANT: Avoid seeing trailer as it gives away a lot of the sight gags, excitement and comedy traps.


FINAL ANALYSIS: A zany fun film (B)





Observe and Report-Movie Review

April 9th, 2009 No comments

Observe and Report co-star Michael Pena-Interview with Al McGhee

April 3rd, 2009 No comments