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Quick Review: The Greatest Beer Run Ever
Based On A True Story
The following is my review for the film The Greatest Beer Run Ever. A reminder, you can click this link to see how I grade films when I review them.
Chickie wants to support his friends fighting in Vietnam, so he does something wild - personally bring them American beer. What starts as a well-meaning journey quickly changes Chickie’s life and perspective.
The claws are out for Peter Farrelly’s latest project in The Greatest Beer Run Ever in what I believe to be a belated backlash to his Best Picture winning film Green Book - a movie with undeniably concerning behind the scenes origins and controversies, but one that I still have to admit to have really enjoyed. Even though that movie was well received by critics it did in time become the great villain when it stopped Roma from making the history Parasite would the following year.
So is the backlash blowback from that movie fair to put it on this one? Well, sorta. Like Green Book, this is a “based on a true story” movie and unlike that film it seems most of what happened on screen happened in real life as well. However where the Best Picture winner had good pacing, a good balance in tone, chemistry between the leads, and left on an uplifting note - The Greatest Beer Run Ever suffers from being overlong in a way that makes the movie feel too slow, is uneven in tone at times, has us stuck with one character’s perception through its entire runtime, and leaves things on a more somber (though I wouldn’t say depressing) note.
But I don’t think this is a bad movie either. I liked this for the most part. I was fascinated by the adventure we were being led through and even with the limited perspective, Efron’s performance helped to elevate the movie during some of its weaker moments. And as someone who has had plenty of re-assessment about my own morals, values, and persuasions over the last few years I could identify with his struggles. There’s also a standout showing from Russel Crowe as a cynical war correspondent.
But it also leans into some tropes in its portrayal of journalists as these heroic figures that is hard not to roll my eyes at given what we’ve seen of late with the way the media has dropped the ball so bad with the misdeeds of certain politicians and political parties. I am against casting the media as “an enemy of the people” like a certain former President who can thank them for his rise does, but I’m not generally one of those who treat them as unquestionable saints either.
This is the kind of safe pick of a movie you can watch with your parents and know they’ll at the very least have thought was a fine enough, decent flick. But it does present an incredible, strange for fiction, actual real-life adventure; and does it while attempting to take a look back at one of the more depressing chapters in American history. If you’re intrigued enough or just want a simple watch, The Greatest Beer Run Ever will mostly do the trick though I think other adventure films of the same nature have done it better.