When a couple of numbskulls (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) kidnap a slacker pizza delivery guy (Jesse Eisenberg), strap a bomb to his chest and order him to rob a bank in less than 10 hours, the pizza guy grabs his best friend (Aziz Ansari) and gets stone cold gangsta in this comic heist that steals as much attention thanks to its efficient thrills as for its raunchy humor.
The movie exhibits savvy pop-cultural sense with rapid-fire movie references (there’s a drinking game’s worth of clever shout-outs to everything from The Hurt Locker and Alien to Tokyo Drift and Lethal Weapon that will tap out future DVD owners) and yet never forgets to provide its own cinematic thrills.
The true test of its delivery rests on the shoulders of three of its main performers. Ansari, the crazy loudmouth stand-up from Funny People, proves capable of turning his shtick into a fully realized character (of course, it remains to be seen whether he can continue to repeat the feat), while McBride deftly dances along the tightrope between utter stupidity and the murderously sublime, giving rise to a formidable comic creation, a truly scary dipshit.
But it’s Eisenberg who, fresh off The Social Network, which I assumed should have been his final foray into hip geekdom, deserves the most credit because he, once again, found another uncharted level to explore and hilariously conquer in record time. Eisenberg and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer might be the De Niro and Scorsese of the new action-comedy set. Grade: A