30 Minutes or Less: A Tribute to Alfred Hitchcock
“30 minutes or less” is director Ruben Fleischer’s and writer Michael Diliberti’s off-handed tribute to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller “North by Northwest.” Just switch Cary Grant’s New York City advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill with Jesse Eisenberg’s small town pizza delivery guy, Nick. “North by Northwest” involved Cary Grant being mistaken for a government agent with valuable information and then pursued across the USA by foreign spies. “30 minutes or less” has Eisenberg’s pizza delivery job intersecting with two apprentice criminal masterminds: Danny McBride as Dwayne and Nick Swardson as Travis.
These two geniuses-in-the-rough conspire to trick Nick into robbing a bank. They strap a bomb to Nick’s chest to prevent him from going to the police; to prove their threats are real, they blow up a child’s teddy bear wearing a scale model of the ordinance on Nick’s chest.
Nick goes to his friend Chet, played by Aziz Ansari, for help. Nick and Chet conspire to rob the bank with toy guns and masks.
One of the bank customers gets shot anyway when the guard’s revolver accidentally fires. Nick and Chet evade capture by revealing the chest bomb, sending the police running for cover.