The Greatest Beer Run Ever

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The Greatest Beer Run Ever
Greatest Beer Run Ever.jpg
Release poster
Directed byPeter Farrelly
Screenplay by
  • Peter Farrelly
  • Brian Currie
  • Pete Jones
Based on
The Greatest Beer Run Ever
by
Produced by
Starring
CinematographySean Porter
Edited byPatrick J. Don Vito
Music byDave Palmer
Production
companies
Distributed byApple TV+
Release dates
  • September 13, 2022 (2022-09-13) (TIFF)
  • September 30, 2022 (2022-09-30) (United States)
Running time
126 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Greatest Beer Run Ever is a 2022 American biographical war comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Peter Farrelly, based on the book of the same name by John "Chickie" Donohue and Joanna Molloy. The film stars Zac Efron and Russell Crowe, and follows the true story of Donohue, who as a young veteran sneaks into the Vietnam War to deliver his friends, who are serving their duty, some beer.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever had its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2022, and in select US theaters on September 23 and on Apple TV+ on September 30, 2022. The film received negative reviews from critics.

Plot[edit]

Former Marine John “Chickie” Donohue is a slacking merchant seaman who lives with his family in Inwood, New York City, and likes to hang out at a bar operated by a somewhat cynical old man dubbed “The Colonel”. Chickie's sister Christine is strongly opposed to the Vietnam War in contrast to Chickie and their father, who also formerly served. Upon learning that an old friend, Johnny, is killed in action, Chickie and friends attend his funeral and are informed that another close friend, Tommy Minogue, whom Chickie persuaded to join the draft, has gone missing in action. After the funeral, Chickie and his friend Red find Christine in an anti-war demonstration and get into a brief physical altercation with some protestors. Back at the bar, Chickie and Red talk about how they could lift their serving friends' spirits. Chickie has an idea to go to South Vietnam himself and deliver his friends some beers. The next day, Chickie appears to backtrack on this, but as his mother suggests giving Tommy a set of rosary beads if he finds him, he sets out on the trip against Christine's warnings.

Chickie takes a boat to Saigon with a duffle bag full of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans in search of military policeman Tommy Collins. He finds Collins, who is ecstatic to see him. That night, Collins' superior officer comes in and chastises Chickie for delivering the beers, then suspects him to be a CIA agent. Chickie and Collins' friends map out a plan for reaching Chickie's other friends. With guidance from a local named Hieu, Chickie stops at the Caravelle Hotel, where he finds American and British reporters opposed to the war. Using his CIA guise, he hitches a military caravan to Bien Hoa Air Base and is flown to Danang Air Base and then on to LZ Jane, where he searches for Rick Duggan, who is serving in the 1st Cavalry Division. Duggan’s sergeant radios him to report to the command post, forcing Duggan to run in plain sight under enemy fire. When Chickie surprises him, Duggan reacts angrily but allows Chickie to join him and his squad in the battlefield as they fire upon the Viet Cong from trenches. When night falls, Chickie again passes around beers. Duggan also tells Chickie that one of their friends, Reynolds, was killed. In the morning, after parting ways with Duggan, Chickie is put on a chopper with two CIA agents who brutally interrogate and throw out a prisoner.

Landing at Kontum Airport, Chickie requests a ride to Saigon, and one officer explains that he may leave his post to escort Chickie to Pleiku Air Base. When Chickie looks outside, he sees the officer driving a prison caravan. Realizing the agents are after him, he hides in the jungle until the agents give up the chase. Chickie walks alone and passes by a child playing in the streets as well as a busted jeep. That night, after watching elephants running from napalm, he is found by another old friend, Kevin “Looney” McLoone. Despite their orders to move in the opposite direction of where Chickie is headed, McLoone and his men give Chickie a ride to Pleiku. McLoone puts Chickie on a chopper, and Chickie hands him his beer.

Back in Saigon, Chickie learns that his ship has left early due to warning of an impending attack. Hieu gives Chickie directions to the U.S. Embassy, he gives Hieu his address to come visit him. At the embassy, a woman helps him book a flight from Manila the next day. He returns to the Caravelle Hotel and shows the journalists photos as proof that he really went on his mission. As the Viet Cong suddenly attacks Saigon in the Tet Offensive, Chickie and photographer Arthur Coates explore the streets, where Chickie sees Hieu killed in the Tet offensive attack on US Embassy. Chickie sees an armored car blow a hole in the embassy wall. The next morning, Coates photographs the aftermath of the embassy attack and witnesses a huge explosion in the distance. The two drive to the scene of the explosion at Long Binh Post, where Coates explains that the military would rather fake an entry hole in the embassy wall than admit that the attack was an inside job. At Long Binh, Chickie looks for and shares a beer with one last wounded friend, Bobby Pappas, who confirms Tommy Minogue's death.

Chickie returns home with a changed perspective on the war. Before drinking with his friends, he visits Mrs. Minogue to give her the rosary beads he was to give to Tommy. Chickie takes responsibility for Tommy's death, but Mrs. Minogue forgives him with a hug. Chickie goes by the park, where he sits among the tributes for soldiers and shares his last beer with Christine.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In 2015, Andrew Muscato produced and directed a short documentary "The Greatest Beer Run Ever". The short was released on the Pabst Blue Ribbon Youtube Channel on Veterans Day November 11, 2015.[3]

On April 26, 2019, as soon as Skydance Media picked up the rights to adapt the book The Greatest Beer Run Ever to film, Peter Farrelly came on board to write the script with Brian Currie and Pete Jones as well as direct the movie. David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger would produce for Skydance along with Andrew Muscato.[4] Viggo Mortensen was cast in the film, with Dylan O'Brien joining him soon after.[5][6]

In March 2021, the film was picked up by Apple TV+, with Mortensen and O'Brien no longer involved. Zac Efron and Russell Crowe entered negotiations to join the cast to replace O'Brien and Mortensen with Bill Murray courted for a supporting role. Efron and Crowe were confirmed to join the cast in July 2021.[7] Filming was expected at the time to begin in August 2021, either in Australia or New Zealand.[8] Jake Picking, Will Ropp, Archie Renaux and Kyle Allen were cast in September 2021.[9] Murray would be confirmed in October,[10] with Ruby Ashbourne Serkis, Matt Cook, Omari K. Chancellor and Will Hochman joining the next month.[11]

Filming began in September 2021, and was shot on location in both Thailand and New Jersey.[12]

Release[edit]

It had its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2022, and was released in select US theaters on September 23, 2022, and on Apple TV+ on September 30, 2022.[13]

Reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 40% based on 97 reviews, with an average of 5/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Far from intoxicating, The Greatest Beer Run Ever reduces its fun fact-based story to a flat, flavorless brew."[14] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 39 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Greatest Beer Run Ever".
  2. ^ "The Greatest Beer Run Ever". AppleTV+. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  3. ^ Wenerd, Brandon (November 12, 2015). "Vietnam War Vets Tell The Story Of The Greatest Beer Run Of All Time". BroBible. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  4. ^ "'Green Book' Helmer Peter Farrelly To Adapt 'The Greatest Beer Run Ever' For Skydance". Deadline. April 26, 2019. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Sneider, Jeff (June 11, 2020). "Viggo Mortensen, 'Green Book' Director Peter Farrelly Reteam for 'Greatest Beer Run Ever'". Collider. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  6. ^ Sneider, Jeff (July 7, 2020). "Dylan O'Brien to Star in Peter Farrelly's Vietnam Movie 'Greatest Beer Run Ever'". Collider. Archived from the original on July 8, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 15, 2021). "Zac Efron Signs With WME". Archived from the original on July 15, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (March 23, 2021). "Apple Poised To Take 'The Greatest Beer Run Ever' With 'Green Book's Peter Farrelly & Skydance; Zac Efron & Russell Crowe To Star". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 17, 2022. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  9. ^ Grobar, Matt (September 28, 2021). "'The Greatest Beer Run Ever': Peter Farrelly's Apple Original Adds Jake Picking, Will Ropp, Archie Renaux And Kyle Allen". Archived from the original on September 28, 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  10. ^ "Spending From Filmmaking Expected to Exceed $500 Million in 2021". Archived from the original on January 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  11. ^ Grobar, Matt (November 8, 2021). "'The Greatest Beer Run Ever' Adds Ruby Ashbourne Serkis, Matt Cook, Omari K. Chancellor & Will Hochman". Deadline. Archived from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  12. ^ "The Great Beer Run Ever Production Listing". August 9, 2021. Archived from the original on September 28, 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  13. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (September 27, 2022). "For the Love of Beer and His Buddies". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  14. ^ "The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 4, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "The Greatest Beer Run Ever Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 4, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]