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Drunk Bus - Movie Review

Drunk Bus

Drunk Bus opens on a chilly and snowy night in Kent, Ohio.  The streets are slick with freshly fallen snow and . . . foul-smelling puke.  That’s right, living up to its name, the passengers on board this bus are all about the good times, well, everyone but the driver who, nine months prior to the start of this comedy, lost the young love of his life when she left him for New York City.  

"HUGE on characters and develops their stories well, thanks to Chris Molinaro’s script.  You can ding it all you want to on a lack of plot, but this sucker is ripe when it comes to keyed-in characterization."


His expressionless face says it all: Michael (Charlie Tahan) is caught in an endless state of motionlessness in which he feels absolutely nothing..  He needs something or SOMEONE to push him out of his funk and becoming a full time employee for the College Bus Transit System isn’t going to do it.

Stuck in Ohio without a new plan of his own, Michael finds himself caught in the tiring loop of driving the "drunk bus," the late-night campus shuttle service that ferries drunk college students from parties to the dorms and back.  He’s still broken up about Amy’s (Sarah Mezzanotte) decision to leave him for the Big Apple and, as the wasted revelers come and go and the pity stop for “Fuck You” Bob (Martin Pfefferkorn) is made, he is left to clean the bus every single night.

That is until he gets his ASS handed to him on a moonless evening.  Life is like that, ya know?  Never afraid to kick you while you are down.  Just ask his best friends Kat (Kara Hayward) and Justin (Tonatiuh Elizarraraz).  They’ve been warning him from the start that things need to change or else.

Well, this is a movie that embraces the OR ELSE in that familiar equation.

When the bus service hires a security guard to watch over the night shift, Michael comes face to face with the heavily tattooed Pineapple (Pineapple Tangaroa), a larger-than-life Samoan American who challenges him with yet another kick in the ass to break from the loop and start living!  What follows is a series of freewheeling and smartly realized situations in which Michael comes to terms with who he ACTUALLY is.Drunk Bus

You can’t say that Drunk Bus, a spirited coming-of-age movie about a brokenhearted young adult who drives tipsy college students safely to and from the bar to their fraternities, isn’t directionless.  It DEFINITELY isn’t.  

No, this comedy is both poignant and refreshing as Ozark’s Tahan and Tangarosa, owner of Shaman Mods (a successful chain of Austin and Dallas tattoo shops), recreate the friendship and the story of how co-director Brandon LaGanke met Tangarosa, who plays Pineapple in the movie.  The movie feels very real and fresh as it takes college life to a whole new destination.  

Also starring Will Forte, Zach Cherry, Dave Hill, Jay Devore, Drunk Bus is HUGE on characters and develops their stories well, thanks to Chris Molinaro’s script.  You can ding it all you want to on a lack of plot, but this sucker is ripe when it comes to keyed-in characterization.  

Directed by John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke, Drunk Bus takes what could have been familiar and routine when it comes to Animal House-styled college hysterics and gives audiences a comedy that is, at once, lovable AND smart.  The film opens On Demand and in select theaters on May 21st.

Stop driving in circles and get on board the Drunk Bus.

4/5 stars

 

Film Details

Drunk Bus

MPAA Rating: unrated.
Runtime:
101 mins
Director
: John Carlucci, Brandon LaGanke
Writer:
Chris Molinaro
Cast:
Kara Hayward, Charlie Tahan, Zach Cherry
Genre
: Comedy | Drama
Tagline:

Memorable Movie Quote:
Distributor:
Filmrise
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 21, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: A directionless, young campus bus driver and a punk rock, Samoan security guard named Pineapple form an unlikely kinship as they navigate the unpredictable late shift shit show known as the "drunk bus." Together, they break out of their endless loop and into a world of uncertainty, excitement and incredibly poor decision-making.

 

Art

Drunk Bus

 

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