Friday, August 12, 2011

A Movie in the Worst of Taste

I was going to talk about this movie earlier this week, but it slipped my mind until I saw another trailer for it today.

In 30 Minutes or Less, Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland; The Social Network) plays a pizza delivery boy who gets a bomb strapped to his chest by two idiots (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) who force him to rob a bank. Eisenberg drags buddy Aziz Ansari ("Parks and Recreation") along for the ride. All of this is supposedly played for laughs. 

I say supposedly because the thing is, this happened in real life a few years ago with tragic results.

In August of 2003, pizza deliveryman Brian Douglas Wells was arrested after robbing a bank while wearing a collar bomb, which he claimed he had been forced to wear. After a standoff with police, the bomb went off, killing him. 

It was later learned that Wells, an Erie, PA high-school dropout, was in on the plot but thought the bomb was going to be a fake. When he learned it was real, he tried to back out and after tussling with his accomplices, was in fact forced to go through with the robbery. In 2008, accomplice Kenneth Barnes was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison; in 2010, accomplice Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was sentenced to life plus 30 years for her role in the robbery/murder.

Why writer Micheal Dilberti, director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and company think this is fodder for a raunchy comedy is beyond me. And worst of all, it just looks awful:

Thankfully, the movie's been getting terrible reviews. It currently stands at a paltry 45% on RottenTomatoes and critic Leonard Maltin says "What can I say about a movie that made me want to take a shower and cleanse myself, afterward?"

Maybe if they had made a serious drama about the true events, they could have had a compelling film on their hands. It all sounded like something out of heist-gone-wrong movie when it was happening. 

Everyone involved in this movie should be ashamed of themselves. This is Hollywood at its worst, exploiting a real-life tragedy for cheap laughs. And anyone who pays to see this movie should be ashamed of themselves, as well. Disgusting and disturbing (gee, Uncle P, how do you really feel?).

More, anon.


Stephen said...

I feel bad for the actors... I liker them all!

Prospero said...

I like most of them, though "Your Highness" was an unfunny mess.