The Greatest Beer Run Ever Movie Review – The most tonally conflicted film of the year

Tonal Whiplash

The Greatest Beer Run Ever may be one of the most tone-defying films of this year. It flits between slapstick, hilarious comedy, and a harrowing war drama, Apple’s latest film attempts to walk that delicate line between the two states but falls completely flat to its own face.

The film is based on the true story The Greatest Beer Run Ever is the story of Chickie Donohue who is a lazy slacker who hails from New York and becomes fed of the never-ending worry and despair of conflict. In the wake of some of his former classmates suffering in Vietnam and awed by the patriotic spirit of America, Chickie decides to travel to Vietnam personally and hand out beers to the soldiers.

In the early morning, Chickie decides to fulfill his promise and, armed with a duffel bag full of beers, sets off for a war zone. As you would think by now, Chickie soon learns that fighting is hell and there are no winners for those who are on the ground and in the middle of battle.

In terms of character, adventures go, Chickie certainly receives a large portion of the humble American pie, but the way to her is not well-defined and, as we’ve mentioned previously it is tonally confusing.

The film is unable to make up its mind on whether it’s one of the comedy genres similar to Eurotrip or a true critique of the terrible effects of war. However, in both instances, the film is a failure for its viewers. It’s not able to offer anything more than “war is bad” while the first’s humor does nothing to improve the character of Chickie – or the movie in general.

For a good example of this disturbing tone, later on, Chickie experiences the effects of an explosion in person. Mothers hold their children’s bodies in pain The streets are littered with bodies and there’s a shivering ache that lingers in the atmosphere. It’s a gut-wrenching moment… till five minutes later, we’re back making jokes.

Also, it’s not helping that, besides Chickie, there isn’t anyone particularly memorable. In films such as Saving Private Ryan or Band or Brothers you will be able to recall specific soldiers and their struggles, however, here, the characters turn to “this neighbor” and “that guy from school”.

The blame isn’t really put on Zac Efron, since Efron is a great actor with the material he’s given to him. However, the blame is on Director Peter Farrelly whose direction is doubtful at best. The camera work is distracting with numerous cuts to scenes crying out to be shot in one seamless camera. Once you’ve noticed it, it’s difficult to ignore, and it can interfere with the flow of the film.

It’s especially annoying since there are some very nice photos here including one that shows Chickie moving through No Man’s Land.

There are people who love The Greatest Beer Run Ever There’s a distinct vibe of a Friday night movie to this film. But this isn’t one you’ll be returning to quickly in the least, and as I’ve said before, the tone of the film is likely to give you severe whiplash.

Greatest Beer Run drops on AppleTVand all over the world this Friday, October 30, 2010!

Feel free to check out more of our movie reviews here!


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