Review by Camden Ferrell
Peter Farrelly is known by many for his work on movies like Dumb & Dumber and There’s Something About Mary. His newest movie, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, is his first directorial effort since his Best Picture winning movie Green Book. Based on the memoir of the same name, this is a bland war movie that goes through the motions despite a decent leading performance from Zac Efron.
Chickie Donohue is a military veteran in 1967. After one night in a bar after the death of a friend in war, Chickie takes on a proposition from his friends. He then decides to embark on a journey to Vietnam to deliver messages of support from back home, and this comes in the form of beer. This true story could be endearing and profound in its view of war and its effect on those who participate, but it doesn’t take advantage of that potential.
The screenplay by Farrelly, Brian Currie, and Pete Jones is so by the books that it lacks any intrigue or enthusiasm. The writing is dry and fulfils its base functions and not much else. And despite being a true story, the plot progression feels ridiculously unnatural and takes the audience out of the experience which should come off as authentic.
The acting is decent throughout. The film is led by Zac Efron who does what he can with the material he is given. He’s not great, but his natural charisma works overtime to make up for the less than desirable script. The movie also features actors like Russell Crowe and Bill Murray but them along with the rest of the supporting cast fail to really add anything to the movie.
Even if the movie severely lacks in certain departments, it’s still a competently made movie. The camerawork, production design, and stunts are all well-done, but it doesn’t fully make up for the movie’s shortcomings. In addition to this, the movie makes an attempt to balance differing political viewpoints about the Vietnam War, but it ultimately comes off as spinelessly moderate.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever doesn’t live up to its premise or subject. It has little to say about war and its other themes, and it lacks a driving vision to make it stand out to viewers. Zac Efron might not be the best leading man, but he is one of the better things happening in this movie. This war movie may speak to certain audiences, but most will be left underwhelmed.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever is in select theaters and on Apple TV+ on September 30.
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