For a lot of us, it may still be difficult to accept that the 2018 Academy Award for Best Picture was won by a film directed by Peter Farrelly, the man who brought us such gems as Dumb and Dumber To and Movie 43. That film was the divisive and sentimental Green Book, which wooed Academy voters with its themes of racial reconciliation, even as it resuscitated the career of Farrelly after a string of bad comedy flops, many years removed from the successes of movies like There’s Something About Mary and Kingpin. Now, Farrelly is back with his first Green Book follow-up, and although it does seemingly contain a twist of humor, the result looks firmly in “dramedy” territory.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Joanna Molloy and John “Chickie” Donohue, telling the true story of how Donohue, a Marine Corps veteran, decided in 1967 to sneak into active Vietnam war zones in order to bring beer to soldiers from his New York neighborhood. He was apparently surprisingly successful at it, talking his way into numerous military installations in his quixotic journey to provide moral support to American soldiers overseas. “Chickie” is played by a robustly mustachioed Zac Efron in the film, with supporting turns from Russell Crowe and Bill Murray.
Tone-wise, you figure the film must be walking a pretty delicate line here, depicting the complex geopolitical situation in Vietnam and the atrocities of the war that happened there, while primarily wanting to be a feel-good dramedy about buddies enjoying beer. One thing is for certain: The sheer amount of product placement for Pabst Blue Ribbon in this film will no doubt boggle the mind. Judging from its omnipresence in the trailer alone, cans of PBR feel like the second most prominent character, after Efron.
Check out the first trailer below for The Greatest Beer Run Ever. The film arrives on Apple TV+ on Sept. 30, 2022, along with a limited theatrical run.