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It’s not an uncommon story, a twenty-something year old drifting through life without any plan. We’ve seen it before and met those characters, dating back to The Graduate’s Benjamin Braddock to Beca Mitchell from Pitch Perfect. The character is a common trope because it’s a real person. Most people can relate to this sense of boredom, confusion, and fear of the unknown. And yet, Drunk Bus is unique.
The character of Michael, widely known throughout the film as Drunk Bus, is about a young man who is stuck watching college life around him as he drives the late night bus route that is routinely filled with drunken and belligerent college students. Drunk Bus is not about a guy afraid of the future, but about a person who is afraid of change. Comedic and heart-warming, Drunk Bus plays with the tropes of college films and turns the experience into something completely surprising and far from formulaic.
The film features a great cast. Charlie Tahan does an amazing job as Michael, is a frustrated young man who does not know how to assert himself. After getting punched in the face by a passenger, he is assigned a security guard. Pineapple, played by Pineapple Tangaroa, is a large tattooed Samoan, who is able to maintain order on the bus by his intimidating presence. Responsible and imposing, Pineapple deals with his hardships with understanding and a friendly disposition. Soon a friendship is forged between Michael and Pineapple and Michael learns there might be more to life than pining over his ex girlfriend.
Tangaroa has comedic timing and often steals the spotlight with his delivery. Tangaroa and Tahan have great chemistry and they complement each other’s talents. The film also features Zach Cherry (Crashing) who is hilarious and while he is not a lead role, he elevates each one of his scenes.
This is the first feature length film by Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci, otherwise known as Ghost + Cow, an award winning filmmaking partnership from Brooklyn. The screenplay was written by Chris Molinaro and overall, Drunk Bus is a charming and funny story about friendship about taking chances.