“A man’s story of leaving New York in 1967 to bring beer to his childhood buddies in the Army while they are fighting in Vietnam.”
Director: Peter Farrelly
Writers: Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly, Pete Jones
Staring: Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray
Release Date: September 30, 2022
The premise for this movie is awesome. A fantastic simple log line: A dude wants to help out his buddies in Vietnam and hand deliver them some beer. The fact that The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022) is based off of a true story nuts. This has to be a very fun story to bring to life.
Zac Efron plays Chickie Donohue, the man whose crazy floating lifestyle brings him to the battle lines of the Vietnam. Donohue wrote a book with Joanna Molloy entitled The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty and War that came out in 2020, and two-time Oscar winning director Peter Farrelly gets his hands on it to bring it to life.
When asked about why he wanted to take on this project, Farelly responded in an interview to IndieWire: “…there’s never been one told from [this] point of view, and that’s what’s interesting. He’s looking at it from where America looked at it, not where the soldiers looked at it. They were in the throes of it, but we were on the outside looking in, and this is a guy who thought he knew what was going on from what he saw on the news. But he went over there and found out it was quite different.”
When the Vietnam war is depicted on the silver screen, there is almost never a comedic side. The only one I remember is Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), and that is without Google searching. We get to see Zac Efron on a little bit of a lighter side, and we get grimy and attitude-filled Russell Crowe. These are vibes the vibes of a trailer that I enjoy.
Efron is in need of a win. The last hit he had was The Greatest Showman (2017). His last four movies are all disappointments. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile (2019) was a swing and a miss on a Ted Bundy story. The Beach Bum (2019) was a movie were Matthew McConaughey went too Matthew McConaughey. Gold (2022) had an interesting minimalistic idea to it, but I have skipped it thus far with the poor reviews, and Firestarter (2022) was objectively terrible.
Crowe is back in a feature role for the first time in a long time. Unhinged (2020) was a rather dark kinda random drama where the one-time Oscar award winner got to just be a crazy person. The last drama he appeared in was Boy Erased (2018). This look and feel in The Greatest Beer Run Ever has me excited. I can imagine that the end of this movie has his character (who is named Coates) writing a story highlighting Chickie’s human viewpoint and interaction of the war.
The Colonel is a character and he is played by Bill Murray. Is The Colonel involved in the army for Vietnam? No. He is the head of Chickie’s favorite bar. It is clever how Chickie’s rallying cry is bringing beer to Vietnam and the person at the head of his favorite beer dispensary is named The Colonel.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever releases a month from today on Apple TV+ on September 30th.
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