Who's In It: Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danncy McBride, Nick Swardsen, Dilshad Vadsaria, Michael Pena, Fred Ward, Bianca Kajlich
The Basics: Nick (Eisenberg) and Chet (Ansari) are two friends whose faults are clear--they've meddled in each other's lives and caused trouble, and their friendship is teetering on the brink of extinction. Meanwhile, Dwayne (McBride) and Travis (Swardson) are two equally crappy friends, except they lack moral fiber and jobs. They need money to bump off Dwayne's dad (Ward), but instead of finding it themselves, they strap a bomb to their unlucky pizza delivery guy who happens to be Nick. He has 10 hours to rob a bank and give them a hundred grand, and you have two hours to sit through this drivel.
What's The Deal: Even with all these talented performers, I was left with no sympathy for Nick's predicament--the movie was way more painful than whatever he went through. Stoner humor has become en vogue, and rightly so, because with funny people like Seth Rogen and James Franco at the forefront, it can be hilarious and relatable. But this script fell completely flat, offering characters that I was indifferent to and only a couple good belly laughs. Mostly, it was just a bunch of horrible people occasionally running around in ape masks that reminded me I would rather just see Rise of the Planet of the Apes again.
The Bright Side: The only reason I sat through this movie without clawing my face off is Aziz Ansari. He always brightens up a movie (or NBC's Parks and Recreation) with his "weird little guy" energy. With exception of the cringe-worthy 2010 MTV Movie Awards, he has never missed a beat. For more great Aziz moments, however brief, check out Observe and Report or Get Him to the Greek.
Please Spend Your Money Renting: Dog Day Afternoon is a great example of a bank robbery movie where you actually care about the people involved, culminating in the inevitable madness that comes with criminal activity. For stoner comedy there's Your Highness, a medieval hemp-tastic adventure that managed to merge cannabis and sorcery. You would think that might be a disaster, but Danny McBride and co. pulled it off in a way that didn't kill my buzz.