Slackers Dwayne and Travis (McBride and Swardson) are fed up with pressure from Dwayne's militaristic father (Ward), and decide to bump him off to get his money. They hire a hitman (Pena), but need cash to pay him, so they kidnap pizza delivery boy Nick (Eisenberg), strap a bomb to his chest and force him to rob a bank in the next 10 hours. He enlists his pal Chet (Ansari) and, with little time to spare, off they go. But of course nothing goes as planned.
The film has a freewheeling tone, as if the cast and crew made up the story as they went along from a central plotline that's just about enough for a brief comedy sketch. So it's padded out with a series of crazy antics, goofy mishaps and undeveloped side characters, such as Kate (Vadsaria), Chet's sister and the object of Nick's crush.
And despite the guns and explosives, there isn't much real sense of menace.
Every scene is played for laughs, and most of the time this works: the bank robbery is genuinely hilarious, as is the chaotic money hand-off. But none of it sticks around for us to pick apart the internal logic. And while some scenes dip too far into genuinely disturbing violence, no one actually seems to get hurt. Or at least they don't dwell on it.
Fleischer keeps things moving briskly, and the likable cast has fun with their flippant, goofy characters (Eisenberg even gets in a Facebook joke). No one is particularly sympathetic, but then there isn't a proper villain either, and none of the performances are much of a stretch. The action scenes are directed with a sometimes startling authenticity, as things continually take surprisingly nasty turns. And in the end there isn't a moral message to be found anywhere. Which is kind of refreshing, really.
Run time: 83 mins
In Theaters: Friday 12th August 2011
Box Office USA: $37.1M
Box Office Worldwide: $35.5M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Production compaines: Columbia Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
Fresh: 70 Rotten: 87
IMDB: 6.2 / 10
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Screenwriter: Michael Diliberti
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg as Nick, Danny McBride as Dwayne, Aziz Ansari as Chet, Bianca Kajlich as Juicy, Nick Swardson as Travis, Michael Peña as Chango, Fred Ward as The Major, Dilshad Vadsaria as Kate, Brett Gelman as Pizza Boss