08th Jun2021

‘Drunk Bus’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Charlie Tahan, Pineapple Tangaroa, Will Forte, Kara Hayward, Zach Cherry, Sarah Mezzanotte, Dave Hill, Tonatiuh, Martin Pfefferkorn | Written by Chris Molinaro | Directed by John Carlucci, Brandon LaGanke

Some times a film comes along that you expect very little from but ends up being so much more than you expected and Drunk Bus is exactly that. it must have something to it based on its synopsis alone because I get a choice of many films to review each week and for whatever reason Drunk Bus just stuck out to me. I’m glad I chose to watch it.

The film follows Michael a young campus bus driver who drives the late night ‘drunk bus’ every night. When he gets security for his bus in the form of a huge Samoan guy named Pineapple they form an unlikely kinship and both start trying to enjoy life.

Almost although the main characters in Drunk Bus are both likeable and relatable and that’s no mean feat in any movie. Michael, played by the brilliant Charlie Tahan, is the perfect example of this. Tahan, despite his young age has had plenty of high profile film and TV roles including a main character in the show Ozark, playing Scarecrow in the Gotham series and having roles in films such as Super Dark Times, I Am Legend and Frankenweenie. He’s excellent here as a guy who has lost his way and stuck in a rut after splitting up with his girlfriend. It’s not an original story or character but both parts are written so well that Drunk Bus is much better than many of its film companions. Every decision Michael makes, both good and bad is understandable, making the final scene even more enjoyable.

His unlikely friend Pineapple (played by Pineapple Tangaroa) has less than a handful of acting roles to his name so its remarkable how great he is in the role. Going against the many stereotypes someone of his look and size, he is mostly softly spoken but often imposing. Their relationship never feels forced and when on screen together the movie is at its best. Both actors becoming even more watchable than before.

The characters around them, people they see and interact with almost everyday are interesting and important to the story despite much less screen time. There’s possible love interests, the boss of the bus company and a grumpy old man called Fuck You Bob(!). You’ll love them all.

Drunk Bus is an easy watch of a film despite its many layers that unfold as it goes on. The bus is a great setting that again, is relatable to most people and a place where social interaction is key between the characters. A dramedy that at first feels like it’s not really going anywhere but soon grabs your attention and holds you there. I cared about these characters. I wanted to see them better themselves and make the right decisions.

Directors John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke have made one of the debut features of the year. Full of lessons in life that could have been cliched but never going that far. Even if it often doesn’t feel like it, Drunk Bus turns out to be one of those feel good movies that will put a great big smile on your face. And as those end credits roll you’ll realise a film almost entirely shot in the dark suddenly brightens up.

**** 4/5

Drunk Bus is out now on digital from Blue Finch Film Releasing.

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