Comedies involving the youth are all about "the first time" or alcohol/drug-related high jinx. 2009 saw a change to this trend with Zombieland - director Fleischer and actor Eisenberg's great take on the zombie genre. And now they're back again delivering a different slice of hot comedy...
From its opening Ferris Bueller's Day Off car flying-shot through to its The Italian Job-esque "did they win?" ending, 30 Minutes Or Less sets out to have fun with its simple premise and its even simpler characters. After his buttoned-down The Social Network performance, Eisenberg returns to his Adventureland and Zombieland roots with a put-upon slacker trying to cope with a curve ball that life has thrown him.
Here that curve ball is in the form of none-too-bright, wanna-be criminals McBride and Swardson. McBride makes up for the travesty that was Your Highness by being funnier in his co-staring role here than in the more leading part of that The Princess Bride rip off he helped create. This is due in part to having the excellent Swardson to bounce off of - his mentally getting into the whole "monkey mask disguise" in the background of some scenes is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny.
What makes it unusual is the complete lack of gross-out comedy or use of any "t&a" (nudity) to get laughs from the audience. Here it's dialogue and interactions that are served up to induce the desired effect from the viewer. There's knowing jokes referring to Eisenberg's lack of friends on facebook (The Social Network); saucy jokes with an offer of beer to "take away the taste of himself" after being kissed by the girl that has just performed an act on him; and the realisation that, when trying to pay for all their bank job related merchandise in a hardware store - tape, rope etc - they're only a pack of condoms away from a rape package...
It's the films little touches that keep the charm and laughs rolling along - during the bank heist, you witness the most politest bank robbery ever committed to celluloid and the little known fact that sometimes hostages are the most dangerous people in those situations! Even during a car chase, they discuss the perfect tune to be listening to whilst trying to avoid the pursuing lawmen and argue over it.
A delight, and a funny one at that, from start to finish, here's hoping that Fleischer and Eisenberg have at least another film up their sleeves to entertain us with. Bring on Zombieland 2!!!
UK release date: 16.09.11