Film Review – The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022)

Title – The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022) 

Director – Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary) 

Cast – Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray, Kyle Allen 

Plot – Based on the true story of New York native and slacker Chickie Donohue (Efron) who in 1967 decided he could play a part in the Vietnam war by making his way to the battle torn country to deliver beers to many of his childhood friends who were stationed in Vietnam, fighting in a war that made less and less sense as the years raged on. 

“This ain’t a war no more. It’s mass murder”

Review by Eddie on 17/10/2022

There was no doubt that streaming service Apple TV+ had high hopes that director Peter Farrelly would experience the same type of success he had in 2018 with the release of The Green Book when his newest effort The Greatest Beer Run Ever premiered at this years Toronto International Film Festival. 

Unfortunately for all involved this was not to be the case. 

Greeted with a muted to mostly negative response from critics (even if audiences appear more positive about this based on a true life tale) when its premiere occurred in mid-September, Apple quickly unleashed Farrelly’s dramedy into theatres and its streaming service with little to no fan-fare or promotion with the Zac Efron headlining feature likely to be a non-event now and into the future. 

It’s not hard to see why Beer Run has been left by Apple to its own devices, whilst disappointing when you consider the potentially ripe real life story of Efron’s Chickie Donohue’s adventures in Vietnam during the heat of the Vietnam War, Farrelly’s film is neither witty enough or dramatic enough to blend its genre’s together to memorable effect while Efron may grow into his role of a slacker New Yorker with a new found purpose but Donohue doesn’t make for the most engaging or entertaining central figure considering we spend virtually the whole two hour runtime alongside him. 

There’s brief flashes of a film that just might have been, whether it’s in moments of chaos in Saigon alongside Russell Crowe’s (who would’ve guessed it?) gruff journalist Arthur Coates or Donohue’s playful interactions with his local drinking buddies that includes Bill Murray’s bar owner The Colonel but for the most part Farrelly feels as though his never comfortable with what his film in and unlike his lauded Green Book, Beer Run struggles to do anything of note even if it’s inoffensive in its goals and delivery. 

Once touted as a potential Oscar player, Beer Run is going to be marked down as yet another 2022 release that failed to take-off with the Oscar race seemingly being shortened by the week as hyped films quickly drop off the radar due to poor reviews, audience disinterest and a sense of missing the mark in more ways that one. 

Final Say – 

The Greatest Beer Run Ever may have good intentions and a casually likeable disposition but considering the fascinating true story it’s based off and the talent involved, there’s no way anyone can walk away from this feature considering it a success. 

2 1/2 piles of Elephant dung out of 5 

4 responses to “Film Review – The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022)

  1. Excellent review that explains a lot about how I feel for this movie. It wasn’t a terrible movie, my wife and I enjoyed it to a degree, but it wasn’t very good. And I can’t explain why it fell short for me, it was just missing something but I don’t know what that something is. The ending to me was dreadful, both my wife and I wanted to know more about what he did when he returned, and also what happened to Arthur Coates and what did he publish? A lot I knew from reading about this adventure before but for those going in unknowing it just kind of ended without much of an end.

    • I really do feel like there is a great movie of this somewhere but this one was so forgettable and by the numbers. I have barely spoken to anyone that has seen it.

  2. Dylan O’Brien’s name was mentioned many times to star in the film version… would he have done a better job?

    I read the hardback edition in 2020 and I recommend it very much (coming from someone who enjoys reading about military history but has not done exhaustive research on the Vietnam War).

    Quoting myself here:

    The content-proper is 239 pages long with thirty-six chapters. There’s also an Afterword, a Where Are They Now, an Addendum, a Bonus Chapter, an Acknowledgments, a Bibliography, and Photo Credits. If you’re dedicated, you could probably finish it in one day (the chapters go by very quickly).

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