30 MINUTES OR LESS (2011)
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Kevin D.
The film opens with a beat-up old blue Mustang flying through the air, as its driver launches it at high-speed through a neighborhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) works for Vito’s Pizza, which has a strict 30-minutes-or-less delivery policy — which means either Nick makes it to the customer’s door in half an hour or he has to pay for the pizza himself. There’s a timer in the shape of a tiny, stereotypical Italian chef ticking away on his dashboard as Nick races through Grand Rapids, his stereo blaring, past kids playing in parks and other people trying to go about their days with this madman driving on the roads. Nick makes it to his destination, two towns away from Vito’s Pizza, in 34 minutes…four minutes late. Two teenagers answer the door, proud of themselves for gaming the system and getting another pizza free. Nick confronts them, telling them the pie’s going to come out of his own pocket, but they don’t care. “That’s why we order your crappy pizza”, they say, “because you can’t ever get here in time”. Nick decides to scam the scammers by telling them he can get them beer if they give him the money their mom gave them for the pizza. The kids have no idea what they are doing, but think it would be cool to have beer, and Nick tells asks them, “You like O’Doules, right?”. Clueless, the kids say, “Hell yah, we’re totally down with that shit”.
Nick is dejected with his life and heads home, where he drinks real beer (not O’Doules) on his porch waiting for his friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) to get home from a date. Chet’s actually sitting in a parked car outside, where his date is performing oral sex on him from the passenger seat. She finishes what she’s doing and then quickly moves to kiss him, in a gross-out scene where Chet “tastes himself”, as Nick (who has been watching) puts it later. “Do you want some beer to wash the taste of yourself out of your mouth?”, Nick asks Chet when he finally walks over. Nick is a big movie fan and has DVDs of the Lethal Weapon series for Chet and him to watch, but Chet says he’s tired and has to work tomorrow. Nick tells him to just call-in sick, “like the real teachers do”, because Chet’s a substitute teacher. “You know they made me a real teacher a few months ago. You gave me a laser pointer as a congratulations gift,” Chet scolds Nick, telling him that he’s an adult with a career now and can’t stay up all night watching old action movies and drinking beer with his pizza delivering friend.
The film cuts away from Nick and Chet and moves into the next day, where Dwayne (Danny McBride) and his dimwit sidekick Travis (Nick Swardson) are target-shooting watermelons in an old scrap yard. Dwayne purports to be a major player and educates Travis about all the “pussy” he has gotten, knows about, and obsesses over in general. Travis hangs on every word. Though both are dim bulbs, Dwayne is the leader and Travis is the even dimmer follower. The two use crossbows, detonators, and other weapons to blow up the watermelons, with Travis being a kind of idiot savant when it comes to explosives.
Dwayne and Travis have been friends since childhood, and though in their mid to late 30s they still behave like immature teenagers. Back at Dwayne’s father’s house, the two watch “Friday the 13th: 3D” where Dwayne starts heckling Jason Vorhees on the screen, as if characters in the film can hear him. Travis follows Dwayne’s lead, like always, and the two jump up from their seats pretending they are anal-raping Jason and “teaching him what good pussy” is, whatever that means. As they’re carrying on with these pantomimes, Dwayne’s father “The Major” (tough as nails Fred Ward) walks in, berating Dwayne and his friend for acting so stupid and sexual together. The Major is a retired United States Marine with little tolerance for his ne’er do well son’s antics. The Major repeatedly calls his son a “faggot” and alludes to something more than friendship between Dwayne and Travis, since the two of them spend so much time together and The Major evidently catches them in weird situations like this quite a bit. It’s revealed The Major won a $10 million lottery prize in 1998, which funds an opulent lifestyle for him…and supports unemployed Dwayne. The Major’s house is filled with all sorts of high tech gadgets, along with a driveway full of expensive trucks with hyper-patriotic American flag/eagle airbrushed detailing. Dwayne is jealous of his father’s money and wants to get control of what’s left from the lottery winnings before The Major spends it all on more trucks.
Meanwhile, Nick appears to be on another Vito’s pizza run but instead is heading to visit Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria), who works at some sort of event planning/catering company. Kate is Chet’s twin sister. Nick has harbored a romantic interest in her for some time. While they are talking, Kate tells Nick that a classmate of theirs from high school, Tom Smalls, has just come out on Facebook as gay. Since the actor Jesse Eisenberg was in “The Social Network” movie portraying Facebook’s founder, this is one of a few in-jokes in the film. Kate tells Nick she has been offered a job with the Four Seasons hotel chain, to take a management training position in the special events department of an Atlanta hotel. Nick clearly does not want Kate to move to Atlanta, so he tells her bad things he’s heard about “Hot-lanta” from various rap songs. He tells Kate he will make her a mixed CD of these raps to prove it to her.
Across town, in a sleazy strip club, Dwayne’s bought a lap dance from a stripper named Juicy (Bianca Kajlich), who soon realizes that Dwayne’s father has a few million dollars. Juicy talks Dwayne into hiring an “assassin” she knows from Detroit who will kill his father so Dwayne can inherit his money…and presumably give Juicy a large cut. Juicy bares her large breasts to him, telling Dwayne he can be king and have her as his “scepter polisher”. The tiny hamster inside Dwayne’s head starts to spin in its wheel.
At Chet’s apartment, Nick tells his friend he does not want Kate to move to Atlanta. Chet tells Nick to leave his sister alone, and that she’s an adult pursuing her career, unlike Nick who is just a pizza delivery boy in his late 20s. Chet reminds Nick that he ate a Lunchables for dinner the night before, so he can’t discourage anyone from being an adult when he’s never tried it himself. The two friends then engage in a pissing contest trying to one up each other by revealing bad things they did to each other. Nick did sexual things with a girl Chet liked. Chet told everyone in town that Nick’s mother had sex with a life guard at the community pool (which then caused Nick’s parents to divorce after Nick’s dad was cuckolded and his mother was branded the town slut). Nick tells Chet he had sex with his twin sister Kate after prom, but Chet argues that Nick said he’d slept with some other girl…Nick says he only changed the girl’s name, but that everything else he told him about the sex was true. Chet is horrified. Nick pushes it by asking, since the two are twins, if Chet felt it when Nick was having sex with Kate. The two friends then wrestle around on the floor for dominance, upset with each other. Chet puts Nick into a sleeper hold, upset with him for deflowering his twin sister.
Back at The Major’s mansion, Dwayne and Travis are cleaning the pool for $10 an hour. Dwayne believes he sleeps late and has no job because his dreams are too big to allow him to do anything else. He has many delusions of grandeur, including schemes for various businesses that will make him rich, if only he had the seed money to get them going (such as a Chinese restaurant or an abortion clinic). He also wants to open a tanning salon that would really be a front for a brothel, where various code words would be used by men looking for prostitutes. There would be regular tanning as well, but a “Deluxe Tan” would mean a man wanted oral sex after his irradiation. Travis, of course, thinks Dwayne is a genius. The Major, however, thinks his son’s an idiot and pops in to check on his pool cleaning work. Dwayne resents his father and tells Travis of the plan to hire an assassin to kill him — something Travis is disturbingly very quick to agree to. Dwayne tells Travis that it will cost $100,000 to hire the assassin and that they need to start thinking like millionaires…since once he gets that $100,000 and hires someone to kill his father, he will inherit the millions and will “own the whole town”.
Dwayne and Travis hole up in Travis’ garage where they continue to plot ways to get the $100,000 for the assassin. Dwayne entertains the fantasy of finding a woman who he can have sex with on camera, and then force to have sex with all sorts of other men on camera, so they can blackmail her husband and force him to rob a bank for them. But the two decide they don’t know any married women who are “slutty enough” for that. Dwayne wants to use hypnotism to force a man to rob a bank for them, but Travis reminds Dwayne how adroit he is manufacturing explosives, so the two decide to find someone, strap a bomb to him, and force him to rob a bank if he wants to live. While they are trying to decide what sort of guy they could lure into this trap, a commercial for Vito’s Pizza airs and Dwayne decides to use a pizza delivery guy as his patsy. Dwayne says that Fate’s fat cock has slapped him in the face.
Cut to the scrap yard from earlier in the film, which is super creepy at night. Nick was supposed to be off work, but Vito (Brett Gelman) made him take one last pizza run. Nick makes it to the scrap yard 15 minutes late and is worried he will have to pay for another late order. When he knocks on a derelict trailer to deliver the pie, Dwayne answers in a creepy gorilla mask. Nick’s nervous, and tries backing away but Travis (in a very Planet of the Apes chimpanzee mask) knocks him over the head until he passes out. Nick’s screaming RAPE! the whole time. When he comes to, it’s daylight and Dwayne and Travis have strapped a bomb to his chest. Nick tries calling for help, but the scrap yard is very isolated and Dwayne tells him he’d have a better chance of someone hearing him in outer space. The bomb’s made with C-4 explosives wired to a remote detonator that is activated with a cellphone. There’s a lock on the front with a 6-digit combination, which Dwayne says he’ll give Nick when Nick delivers him $100,000. The bomb has a large yellow smiley face on the front.
Nick tells them he can sell his car and get maybe $1000, but that he does not have any idea how he can get $100,000. Dwayne tells him to just rob a bank. And that he has 10 hours until the bomb explodes so he better move quickly. To demonstrate the bomb, Dwayne detonates a similar vest that Travis rigged to a teddy bear. After it explodes, he tells Nick, “I liked that bear, and I don’t even know you, so you better hurry”. Nick’s told the pair will be watching him and if he goes to the police they will dial the code and make him explode like the bear. Nick burns rubber peeling out of the scrap yard, off to rob a bank and do whatever they say.
Nick heads to the school where Chet works and interrupts his teaching. Chet’s scolding a boy who has been texting in class, by reading the boy’s text about liking a girl named Lisa. “This Lisa? Over here? She’s too good for you. Stop texting in my class,” he tells the boy, just as Nick barges in. Outside in the hallway Nick shows Chet the bomb and Chet says, “So two dudes kidnap you and strap a bomb to your chest and the first place you think to go is an elementary school filled with children?”. Nick begs Chet to help him and Chet ultimately agrees, because he says he does not want this to affect his future relationships…like one day he would be with his wife and kids and he’d be sorry he “let that guy I knew blow up” when he could have helped. Chet makes Nick promise him that if he helps him with this that he will leave his sister alone and not talk to Kate again. The two leave the school to figure out a way to get the bomb vest off Nick.
Meanwhile, Juicy the stripper meets with her “assassin” from Detroit, a Mexican named Changa who calls himself “Sugarmilk” (Michael Pena) and is covered with tattoos. Changa agrees to kill The Major and Juicy tells him arrangements have been made to get him his $100,000 for the hit. Juicy and Changa have a romantic relationship and have sex in his car apparently.
Back at Chet’s apartment. Chet’s been looking up ways to disarm the bomb on Wikipedia, with little luck. Various movies like Hurt Locker and Point Break are referenced, as the two friends try thinking about anything they’ve ever seen on film that could help them either disarm the bomb or rob a bank to get the $100,000. Ultimately, they decide to rob the bank and Nick tells Chet they should hit the bank that’s near the Olive Garden in a shopping center. They proceed to a Family Dollar store to get bank robbing supplies.
Dwayne and Travis are watching them, and sit outside in a car listening to a mixed tape while Nick and Chet buy their supplies. Dwayne keeps talking about his tanning salon/brothel idea and the two talk about various specials they would offer, like a “Tanny Glover”, which would be the code word for sex with a black female prostitute after buying a tan. Dwayne tells Travis that he will be working the front desk at the tanning salon, but Travis does not think it’s an important enough job, though Dwayne reassures him it’s important because Travis would be the one keeping track of the code words and what various people want in terms of prostitutes. There’s actually a vacant storefront next to the Family Dollar store that Dwayne thinks would be perfect for the salon/brothel.
The woman working checkout in Family Dollar asks Nick and Chet if they are buying rape kits, since they’re purchasing fake guns and ski masks along with other odd items. Chet’s also getting a hamburger sliders kit, so he tells the checkout woman she’s crazy, and that they just love sliders and skiing. The woman tells them they better get some condoms too if they are going to be raping anyone. After they leave the store, Chet’s spray-painting the toy guns black so they look more real, and Nick tells him not to spray that paint inside his car. “This car looks like a Mustang that got AIDS and died of cancer”, Chet says, and the two have a fight over how pathetic Nick’s car is. They then decide to steal the red Dotson owned by Chet’s parents’ neighbors, the Fishers, because they need a fast getaway vehicle. They drive over to the Fishers house and are looking for the keys to the car in the garage when Mr. Fisher walks in on them. The two know the Fishers’ son Dylan works at a travel agency, is “a douche”, and has “bad bangs”. They tell Mr. Fisher that if he doesn’t cooperate, they will come after Dylan. Wearing their masks and brandishing their fake guns, they rob him of his keys and steal the car, with Chet politely saying “Thank you” and “Goodbye Mr. Fisher” afterwards…which is something Chet does throughout the various crimes the two will commit all day.
Chet is worried he was recognized because there are only four Indian families in Grand Rapids and he realizes his brown skin and hands were visible through the robbers’ disguise. Nick claims he wants to make a quick stop and quit his pizza delivery job before they rob the bank, and Chet argues with him in the car that they don’t have time to be running errands like this, and if they did have time like that they should stop for breakfast or maybe lunch because Chet is hungry. Nick gets his way and they drive to Vito’s Pizza where Nick slips inside, quits, and then races out the back door. Nick actually runs down the street to where Kate works while Chet thinks he’s still inside Vito’s. Nick takes Kate onto the roof of her building and tells her that he’s never forgotten the night they had sex and that he has feelings for her, then he rushes away. Nick doesn’t realize it, but Travis was following him the whole time, and was pretending to be a maintenance man working on the banister in the stairwell when Nick ran by him. Travis reports back to Dwayne on his cellphone that Nick came to visit this girl (important later).
Nick races back to the car and finds Chet inside eating hamburgers and drinking 5-Hour-Energy drinks. The two decide to pretend to be Hispanic criminals when they burst into the bank to rob it. Nick will be “Cruz” and Chet will be “Luiz” when they’re inside the bank. When they burst in, the bank is filled with very nice Midwestern people who are surprisingly helpful during the holdup. Nick and Chet get them all onto the floor and work with a bank employee named Sandra to get $100,000 into a bag. Sandra had to go into the vault to get the money, which broke a rule Nick and Chet learned from the movie Point Break, which said to never worry about the vault and instead just focus on whatever money was in the teller drawers. Sandra slipped a blue dye back into the money, per bank policy. In all the commotion, a security guard’s gun accidentally goes off and shoots a man in the leg. Nick feels bad about this and decides to peel off some money and give it to the man. When he does so, the blue dye explodes in the man’s face. Nick and Chet are upset with Sandra, and tell her to get a new pack of money out of the vault…this time with no blue dye in it. Sandra retrieves a new bag…but what Nick and Chet don’t realize is that the blue dye packs are in ALL the money (important later). The bank’s alarm goes off and Nick and Chet flee the bank, stopped outside by a cop who pulls a gun on them. Chet opens his coat to show his bomb, telling the cop, “Looks like you brought a gun to a bomb fight”. The cop took one look at the bomb and ran away crying. Nick and Chet escape in the Dotson and engage in a high speed police chase set to the 80s song “The Heat is On”. Nick uses his pizza delivery driving skills to evade the cop cars, zooming in and out of traffic, and getting a cop car or two totaled at intersections when Nick guns it through red lights. Nick attempts to do a 180 turn to throw the cops off, but spins too much and ends up doing a full 360, defeating his purpose. Finally, Nick and Chet are wrecked when a cop car smashes into them. They escape the scene of the crash on foot, with Chet wounded by car shrapnel, and the two calmly walk onto a bus to get away. Dwayne and Travis arrive at the scene and join passersby who are videotaping the wreckage for YouTube, pleased that Nick has actually pulled off the robbery.
Walking down a suburban street to reclaim Nick’s Mustang, Nick and Chet recount their bank robbery adventure the way two male friends would retell some exploit in a bar or what they did in a big game, with each embellishing things they said or did. Neither of them show any concern at all for all the crimes they just committed. The next step is for Nick to call Dwayne and arrange a pickup of the money — where Nick essentially buys the 6-digit code that will unlock the bomb on his chest.
Dwayne’s waiting for the call at a cheap Mexican restaurant called Taco Boy. Dwayne calls Juicy on his cell and tells her the money is coming, and arranges for Juicy and Changa to meet Nick at an abandoned bridge somewhere in just a few minutes. Dwayne revels in more fantasies about owning his tanning salon/brothel, as Travis starts to feel bad about what they have done, now that he realizes Dwayne wants to kill Nick by detonating the bomb after they’ve got the money. Travis believed Nick would go free once this was all over. When Dwayne gets up to use the bathroom, Travis disables the bomb via remote by switching the cell phone numbers…so if Dwayne tries to deactivate the bomb, he will call the wrong number and nothing will happen.
Nick’s waiting at the bridge when Changa and Juicy show up. Chet’s hiding somewhere off screen. Nick gives Changa the money and asks for the code to deactivate the bomb but Changa doesn’t have it…since Dwayne had no intention of deactivating the bomb. A fight ensues, with Chet joining in to smack Changa upside the head, before Chet and Juicy tussle. Nick and Chet leave, with Chet calling them “bad people”. Changa is furious and tells Dwayne that he is now going to assassinate Dwayne, since he does not have the $100,000 anymore because Nick and Chet took it back after they fought with Changa and Juicy. Dwayne is terrified that the assassin is now coming after him. Nick realizes that Dwayne had no intention of giving him the code, and when he talks to Dwayne on the phone the power shifts between them since Nick also realizes that Dwayne can’t push the button to kill him since Dwayne would destroy all the money too. “At least I will die a rich man,” Nick says.
Travis is giving Dwayne a haircut while all of this is going down, with Dwayne now insisting that the FBI, CIA, and NASA are going to be coming for him. He wants to just blow Nick up anyway, and dials the number on the phone only to have Moviefone answer. Travis then explains he switched the number at Taco Boy because he couldn’t believe Dwayne would kill Nick. Travis then tells Dwayne about Kate, and how she is a way to get the money back from Nick without killing anyone. All they have to do is kidnap her. Dwayne and Travis then rush to do this, while avoiding Changa who wants to kill Dwayne.
The Major is in his mansion watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta, and enjoying himself, when Changa breaks in to assassinate Dwayne. The Major picks up a pen gun and moves stealthily through his house, using his Marines training. We see the giant $10 million lottery check that The Major won in 1998 framed and hanging on a wall as The Major moves through is home, ultimately shooting Changa in the neck…before Changa gets on top of him and shoots him in the stomach. The Major tells Changa he is not afraid of death and “will ride you all the way to Hell, because I know the way” as the two men fight. The Major would not tell Changa where Dwayne was, though he was not surprised that Dwayne had tried to hire Changa to kill The Major. The Major still protected his son, even after his son betrayed him. Changa leaves The Major wounded and bleeding from his stomach onto the floor and heads to the bathroom to pour alcohol over his wound, telling himself in the mirror that he’s a pimp and needs to be tough. Changa then searches the house for clues to where Dwayne may be and ends up finding a crudely drawn map (like a small child made it) of the scrap yard that Dwayne and Travis use for their antics.
The big finale of the film takes place in the scrap yard, since Dwayne and Travis are headed there with kidnapped Kate and Nick and Chet are driving there to deliver the money and rescue her. Nick produces the cash and Dwayne gives him the code…696969, which Dwayne reveals to be his favorite sexual position. There’s now just 4 minutes and 9 seconds before the bomb explodes. Dwayne’s wearing his gorilla mask again and Travis is dressed up as the chimp, but this time he’s also wearing a flamethrower on his back that makes him look like a Ghostbuster on the Planet of the Apes.
Nick gains the upper hand by claiming he has a sniper hidden somewhere who will shoot Dwayne and Travis. They don’t believe him, but a red dot appears on Dwayne’s forehead, which Travis says “looks like that dot on her people’s heads”, making a racist joke at the expense of Kate, who is Indian like her brother Chet. It’s shown the sniper is actually Chet, using the laser pointer that Nick bought him when he was made a real teacher and not just a substitute (remember the throwaway line delivered about this earlier in the film). Chet moves the laser pointer lower so that it appears the sniper is going to shoot Dwayne in the chest if he does not release Kate.
Changa arrives and declares himself to be “the Satanic Hispanic” and punches Nick in the face in retribution for the attack Chet made on him earlier in the day. Then Changa turns his attention to Dwayne and fires his gun at him. Travis fires up the flamethrower next and scorches Changa, burning him to a crisp. Changa gets one last shot off, however, and punctures the tank on Travis’ back, making the flamethrower explode. In this melee, Chet grabs Kate as Nick ducks away to grab the money and place the bomb vest into Dwayne’s car after resetting the timer to explode.
Changa dies. Travis lives. Dwayne gets in the car to chase down Nick, Chet, and Kate and get the $100,000 back. Since Nick knows the bomb is about to explode, he maneuvers his Mustang to avoid the blast. Dwayne’s car catches fire and flips off the road.
Nick, Chet, and Kate then start thinking about what they could do with all that money. When Kate starts flipping through the stacks of bills, the blue dye explodes in their faces and all over the car.
After the credits roll, there is a quick commercial for “Major Tan”…the tanning salon/brothel that it appears Dwayne, Travis, and The Major opened next to the Family Dollar Store. A bevy of bikini clad prostitutes vamp it up in the commercial, as Dwayne lets viewers know it’s both a tanning salon and a place for men to get oral sex from a variety of women…including a “Menage a Tan” where two women would service one man. Apparently, this bit was part of the original ending of the film…which was supposed to include an epilogue showing what happened to all the various characters. The Major is now in a wheelchair because of his bullet wound and Dwayne and Travis appear unscathed by everything that happened. After this commercial ends, the film is completely over and it fades to black.