THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER
Starring: Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Jake Picking, Kyle Allen, Archie Reneaux, Will Ropp, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis, and Bill Murray
Director: Peter Farrelly
This year’s TIFF has been filled with military/war films, and The Greatest Beer Run Ever is amongst the most family friendly of the bunch. The story should reach a point where it loses its charm and Chickie Donohue (Zac Efron) has to come face to face with the realities of war. Unfortunately, it's such a sanitized version of the Vietnam War that it doesn't hold the weight it needs to. This makes for a fairly one note film. The performances, led by Efron, are mostly solid (Bill Murray is oddly cast), but this is yet another clean-cut, censored biopic from director Peter Farrelly.
Director Peter Farrelly’s latest, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, is a step in the right direction, but it also shows that there is still room for improvement. Overall, I really enjoyed it. It’s a fun time filled with heart, but it also has effective drama when it needs to get serious. Zac Efron is fantastic too, turning what could’ve been a cartoon idiot into a believable doofus. Its messaging is a little too obvious, as is the plotting, but I can’t say that’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s not groundbreaking, but it is an easy and innocent experience.
I don’t have many complaints about The Greatest Beer Run Ever, but for some reason, it’s just kinda…there. Zac Efron gives a nice, grown-up performance (an exciting evolution for him as an actor, to be honest), and the actual true story is admittedly pretty wild. But even in the most harrowing scenes, when bullets are flying and bombs are exploding, it’s feels as tame as network TV. I get that director Peter Farrelly is going for quasi-heartwarming (with a message!), but the film would have benefited from a sharper edge. It’s still an enjoyable watch, but I don’t think it will have much staying power.
This film was reviewed by Nick, Quentin, and Adriano as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.