The Greatest Beer Run Ever
review by Bobby Blakey
Some of the most unbelievable stories are those that have happened in real life. In the film The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Zach Efron and Russell Crowe has teamed up with Dumb and Dumber, Me, Myself, and Irene, and The Green Book director Peter Farrelly to bring this incredible true story to the big screen. The film co-stars Jake Picking, Will Ropp, Archie Renaux, Kyle Allen, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis and Bill Murray. Could this unbelievable true story deliver or will it be a beer run not worth making?
The Greatest Beer Run Ever follows Chickie Donohue who decides to do something totally outrageous: travel to the frontline by himself to bring the soldiers a little piece of home — their favorite can of American beer to show support for his neighborhood friends serving in Vietnam. However, what started as a well-meaning journey quickly turns into the adventure of a lifetime as Chickie confronts the reality of this controversial war and his reunions with his childhood buddies thrust him into the complexities and responsibilities of adulthood.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this flick, but with a story this crazy I had to see it. With Peter Farrelly at the helm is it a comedy or a drama? It’s kind of both and neither, it’s an insane life experience that is so insane it is crazy that it happened. Initially it is hard to imagine how he could possibly succeed in this trip, but when you see how it was done and with the time it takes place it is strangely plausible, just unlikely nowadays.
The journey that Chickie takes is initially just about those beers, but it is really a self-discovery of the truth behind the war. There is an interesting dynamic of the people at home and the delusion of what they believe is going on thanks the media, which is very much in line with what still goes on today. It’s not preachy or anything, but instead just lets him see the truth as oppose to what he thought the truth was an in turn gives more weight to his true journey.
The film isn’t overly complicated and runs a pretty straight forward format, but still works to be entertaining and engaging just from the craziness of it all. While there are some big guns here in the acting world this is Efron’s show and he gives a great performance. He brings an everyman vibe to Chickie at the start, but you experience his own revelations and true fear of what war truly is as he makes this insane journey.
To my surprise Crowe isn’t in the film all that much until the second half but brings and important voice to the story. He is the truth of the war for Chickie to discover through the camera he is using to hell the story. Even more surprising is Bill Murray’s appearance which is really just a cameo at best that bookends the film and really not all that important, but does have a more subtle point of being.
In the end I was really surprised by the story and journey that Efron and Farrelly delivered. It is a multi-layered journey wrapped around an insane true story that you would struggle to make anyone believe it ever happened if it wasn’t true.
Decide for yourself and check out The gReatest Beer Run Ever streaming now exclusively on Apple TV+.