The Greatest Beer Run Ever: “Every once in a while you run into a guy who’s too dumb to get killed.”
It’s 1967, the Vietnam War is raging and so are opinions on America’s participation in the fight. Zac Efron is John “Chickie” Donahue. A guy in flux who needs to do something that makes a difference. He decides to give his buddies in combat a taste of home, but he ends up getting a big gulp of the battle instead.
Based on an unbelievably true story, The Greatest Beer Run Ever follows the execution of a well intentioned, but far-fetched idea spawned from a bunch of friends bellied up to a neighborhood bar in New York City. A WW2 vet now a bartender and war supporter, played by Bill Murray, is upset at the television coverage and protesting of the Vietnam conflict. He tells Donohue and the gang that he’d just like to track down all the boys from Inwood that are overseas and give them a beer to show his support. Chickie, doing more drinking than thinking, volunteers to carry out the mission.
Director and co-writer, Peter Farrelly, fresh off his Oscar win for Green Book, gives us another historical drama that takes a heavy subject and lightens it up with crowd pleasing colorful characters, comedy and warmth amidst the explosions and death. And he mostly succeeds. The Greatest Beer Run Ever struggles to decide which side of the aisle it’s on. The film ends up choosing the middle of the road leaving the viewer with, what Chickie ends up believing, the truth.
The real Chickie spent eight weeks in Vietnam finding four of the six friends he went in search of. The idiotic, but noble gesture is so outrageous you can’t help but cheer for the guy. If it didn’t really happen, you’d never believe it, so pop a top of suds, crawl into the Lazyboy lounger and see what can happen if you are determined…and naive. The Greatest Beer Run Ever starts streaming on Apple TV September 30th. It gets a 6. Tastes great, less filling.