Photo: ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’
A wild story
Peter Farrelly’s follow-up to the massively successful and vastly overrated ‘Green Book’ is a film about a man who travels to Vietnam during the Vietnam War to bring his friends’ beer as a sign of support. Based on a true story titled ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever,’ the film stars Zac Efron in the lead role as Chickie. Other prominent players in the film include Bill Murray and Russell Crowe. The synopsis of the film is one that is sure to turn heads as it seems overblown and ridiculous, however, the fact that it is based on a true story does anchor the plot somewhat and adds a much-needed note of believability to the film.
Chickie is a proud patriot, supportive of the war in Vietnam. But upon seeing demonstrations against the war and LBJ, along with the media’s negative portrayal of the war, Chickie starts to believe that all this negative energy must be getting through to the troops in Vietnam who are supposedly all fighting and dying for the noblest cause there is. In an attempt to raise their morale Chickie decides to go on the greatest beer run ever and bring beer to the troops in Vietnam as a sign of respect and support towards them and their struggles. Overall, ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ has Farrelly’s direction and Efron’s beautiful performance going for it and taking us along for the ride.
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A slow first act and a tired but true message
The opening of this film is a pill to swallow. Sitting in the theater and watching the first thirty or so minutes of this film commence was about as painful an experience as one could endure. Everything that is set up is things that we can pick up on quickly and things that will not matter for the vast majority of the film because every character in the film’s first act, apart from Chickie, of course, is not reintroduced into the story until the film’s final minutes.
Full Commentary at Premiere of ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’
This essentially leaves us exiting the first act with only one piece of valuable knowledge, Chickie is a patriot and a supporter of the war in Vietnam. This is another problem because I and most other people who are seeing this already knew this upon walking into the theater. Another weak point of this film is its message. While I entirely agree with the message of this film, war is evil, it has little else to substantially say about the topic. Farrelly going for this message with his new film essentially pushes it towards failure from the very beginning. However, this message, as I mentioned previously, is an important one and one which I hold dear. So its inclusion in this film is not all bad, which you will see once we get into the pros of this film next.
Efron and an important message
To start discussing the positives of this film without first mentioning Zac Efron is blasphemous. Efron delivers one of the better performances I have seen all year in this film as Chickie. He is able to juggle the film’s emotional high points, comedy, and tragedy effectively and still add an air of originality and intrigue to the character he is playing. The entire cast is great but Efron is nothing short of stellar. While this will not be the film that wins him an Oscar, I believe that this film is evident that he is talented enough to win one. He just needs the right movie, but I digress.
The other main positive of this film which I will briefly touch on is the film’s message which I believe is both a pro and con. While the message of this film in regard to war does set it up for failure it is nonetheless an extremely important message and one which still holds true today. The message of this film elevates it to a level of importance that many films do not reach. Furthermore, Efron combined with this ever-important message produces a powerhouse duo capable of bringing the house down. While these may be the two main pros of this film I stand by the fact that there are many other pros of this film as well including but not limited to some of the film’s humor, emotional moments, and cinematography.
The film as a whole
All in all, I would say that you should not miss ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever.’ Even with the film’s shortcomings it is still without a doubt enjoyable and features some great acting along with a strong emotional core. While you may not see this film at the Oscars this year, it is still something that cannot be missed, especially if you are a fan of Zac Efron or war films in general. I assure you, you will have a great time with it.
Also, make sure not to miss the new military-themed film ‘The Inspection’ which comes out on November 18th.
Director: Peter Farrelly
Writers: Peter Farrelly, Brian Hayes Currie, and Pete Jones
Cast: Zac Efron, Bill Murray, and Russell Crowe
Producers: Andrew J. Muscato, David Ellison, Don Granger, Jake Myers, and Dana Goldberg
By Nathaniel Lee
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