Monday Mystery Movie: Don’t be fooled by poor critic reviews, ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ is a must-see movie

Photo courtesy of Golf Thanaporn

For one night only, Regal Theaters brought back their “Monday Mystery Movie” night on Sept. 26. For $5, I got a sneak peek of an unreleased movie coming soon to the big screen. The scary part? Viewers don’t know what movie they’ll be seeing until they arrive and it starts playing.

I bought my ticket, having no clue what movie I would be seeing, and I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised.

I sat in the Regal Edwards theater, full of anticipation, and I can’t lie when I say my heart sank when I saw the words “based on a true story” appear on the big screen in front of me.

I figured I was either in for a boring documentary, or a bone-chilling horror movie — both of which I am not a fan of. Fortunately, I was wrong.

A few minutes into the movie, I realized I was watching Apple TV’s upcoming film, “The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” which was set to release on Sept. 30, 2022 at the time. 

The film, starring Zac Efron, takes place in 1967 during the Vietnam War and follows Efron’s character John “Chickie” Donohue as he departs from his home in New York and ventures to Vietnam to share some beers with his buddies who are serving overseas in the United States Army.

The genre of the film is classified as “drama/war.” However, it would be acceptable to label this movie as a comedy as well since the audience couldn’t seem to stop laughing. The movie was filled with wisecracks, hidden humor and hilarious action scenes which had the viewers smiling and laughing throughout the showing.

Efron’s character, Chickie, could be described as a die-hard patriot and supporter of our country’s troops. In the film, he is very unhappy with how negatively the war is being portrayed through the news. 

This is part of his motive behind delivering beers to his friends: to show that Americans appreciate everything they’re doing for our country.

Efron’s talent excelled as the movie progressed, especially once the film got more serious in its final hour. While Chickie was traveling through Vietnam and visiting different army bases, he quickly learns just how serious this war is, and how much danger his friends are really in.

The end of the movie takes a heart-wrenching turn, and Efron delivers incredibly performed lines and monologues, which caused goosebumps to spread across my arms and tears to fall from my eyes. 

[Photo of Russell Crowe (left) and Zac Efron in “The Greatest Beer Run Ever.”]
Photo courtesy of Golf Thanaporn

By the end of the film, Chickie realizes that the media wasn’t solely reporting on the negatives of the war in an effort to bash the war and the president, they were reporting the truth. The truth about what was really happening during the Vietnam War changes Chickie’s perspective on the war altogether.

This film was not one I would have usually chosen to go see since I don’t tend to lean toward war movies, but I am extremely grateful that I chose to participate in “Movie Mystery Monday,” because I was amazed at the quality of this film and the hard work that went into making it so memorable. 

This movie is given an R-rating for language and some war violence, according to Rotten Tomatoes. And to my surprise, the film currently sits with a 42% score which begs the question: Why didn’t critics enjoy the film? 

As I left the theater, everyone around me was in awe, wiping tears from their eyes and discussing how amazing the film was. I was shocked to discover that undeserved low score. Many critics seem to not enjoy the mix of war drama and comedy. However, I think that’s the best part.

This genre combination kept audiences captivated, and the comedy had a masking effect, so the audience was blindsided when the plot turned from a goofy beer movie to an agonizing and heartbreaking war film.

The cast of this movie has some familiar faces including Bill Murray and Russell Crow, as well as some possible up-and-coming actors such as Kyle Allen and Jake Picking. As for Efron, he continues to prove himself as an amazing and versatile actor.

“The Greatest Beer Run Ever” is filled with lovable characters who you can’t help but root for, and this movie is truly one that should be added to everyone’s must-see list. 

“The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” will be available for Apple TV+ subscribers on Sept. 30, but will also be shown at the Cinemark Majestic Cinema in Meridian, Idaho. 

If you have the opportunity to see this film, I would highly recommend it. It’s a great tribute to the real “Chickie” and all of his buddies and is a great balance between war film and comedy with undeniable humor, well-crafted action sequences and beautiful cinematography.

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