This movie embraces living. Your heart swells as you watch it. When James Franco cuts his arm off, all I could picture was James Stewart racing into Bedford Falls, jubilant, at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. That might seem a strange comparison, but the essence of both scenes is identical; in each, a man scrabbles for his life; each man chooses the ragged beauty of living; they spit, and yelp, and go on, unfinished. Better to be alive. Better, even if your right arm ends in a stump. Because, no matter how obscene it is to see a man sever his arm, it’s nothing like as obscene as seeing him dead. Blood shows proof of life in 127 Hours. It’s the antithesis of a horror movie. Please, don’t be put off if you’re squeamish.
Did male bonding exist before the buddy movie, or is it a byproduct? Sure, men were friends before Lethal Weapon and the Rush Hour series, but did men realise what being buddies entailed? Did men make dick and fart in the 1950s in the knowledge that they were sublimating their true feelings for one another? Was a gun ever really just a gun for John Wayne? …Ok, so maybe a gun was a gun for The Duke, but in the new “pot comedy” from the Judd Apatow stable, all the AK47s in the world can’t obscure the gay subtext. Pineapple Express is crude, violent and shallow as hell, but its male leads seem like they’d make a nice couple.