Dave's Rating:


Pizza is pizza.

Who's In It: Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson

The Basics: An unambitious pizza delivery guy finds himself kidnapped and bomb-strapped, a forced participant in a bank robbery masterminded by two idiots. He has nine hours to complete the robbery or find himself exploded, so he enlists the help of his ex-best friend and spends the rest of the extremely short running time out-maneuvering and outwitting the small-time criminals whose itchy fingers are always on the detonator. I'd tell you more but that's truly all there is to tell, other than that it stars Jesse Eisenberg, who might not have bothered to make this movie if he'd known he was about to be nominated for an Academy Award.

What's The Deal: Back in the 1970s and early '80s, as drive-in theaters were winding down, there was a specific kind of cheap, no-brow, second-in-the-double-feature comedy you could always count on to be there. They were movies with no agenda, middle-range stars and 90 minutes or less of medium-sized laughs. Their deal with the audience was a promise of empty entertainment and the audience, in turn, promised not to care. Then when the drive-ins mostly died, these films aired on cable TV for awhile--a place where not-caring was as easy as not bothering to realize that you were sitting on the remote--and then they were forgotten. The people who made this one must have fond memories of that genre, too, because they've gone and created something that fits that bill all the way down the line. Aim low, hit your mark and you won't hear me complain.

If This Movie Were An Actual Pizza: It'd be that crappy, square, frozen variety they gave you in the middle-school cafeteria, the kind with those weird tiny pepperoni cubes on top. But the thing is, you ate that square pizza because it was still pizza and you were hungry and it tasted kinda-sorta not terrible anyway. So in the right empty-tank mindset, you'll laugh during the entire 83-minute running time, walk out when it's over, tell your friends that it mostly sucked, but still halfway recommend it. I know that only makes partial sense, but sometimes that's where comedy hits you.

Ripped From The Headlines: The concept here is loosely based on a 2003 robbery committed by a man wearing a bomb. But that's pretty much where the similarities end. In the real guy's case, what he believed to be a fake bomb was, tragically, an actual explosive device. And then it went off. Seems his collaborators left out that information when they let him rob the bank while wearing it.

Featuring Danny McBride As Danny McBride: I like that this man already knows who he is well enough that he refuses--or is unable--to deviate from his chosen path of playing moronic, self-aggrandizing dirtbags who weasel their way into your affections like a terrible friend you hate but to whom you're always lending money. I think his power lives in his mullet, so he probably shouldn't ever cut it off. Anyway, as the now-patented "Danny McBride" character, he's as perfectly cast as he can be. And be sure to stay through the credits for the extra bit of him and Nick Swardson.


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