BEER FOR MY HORSES
Too Much Country Crude
Starring: Toby Keith, Rodney Carrington,
Claire Forlani, Ted Nugent,
Tom Skerritt, Barry Corbin,
Greg Serrano, Brit Morgan,
Carlos Sanz, Chad Brummett,
and Willie Nelson
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 89 minutes
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Director: Michael Salomon
Executive Producer: Leslie Belzberg and T.K.
Producer: Toby Keith and Donald
Writer: Toby Keith and Rodney
Address Comments To:Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff
421 South Beverly Drive, 8th Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 789-4710; Fax: (310) 789-4711
Toby Keith plays Rack, a deputy sheriff in Jackson County, Oklahoma. One night, Rack and his friends in the department, Lonnie and Skunk, capture four men trying to steal some fertilizer for crystal meth production. The leader of the group turns out to be Tito Garza, younger brother of Manny Garza, a drug lord south of the border.
Tito is wanted by the FBI, but his brother Manny kidnaps Rack’s girlfriend, Annie, who’s just returned home after living in the big city, in Chicago, for several years. Manny tells the sheriff he’s willing to exchange Annie for his brother. Against the sheriff’s orders, Rack, Lonnie and Skunk take Tito through Texas and into Mexico to bring Annie back. Along the way, there are multiple chances for country humor, including an encounter with a bunch of weird circus performers led by a character played by Willie Nelson.
As he usually does, Toby Keith has an easygoing charm on the screen that will appeal to most average Americans, including country music fans and NASCAR followers. Contrary to popular thinking, such Americans live all over the country, including the East and West Coasts. Rodney Carrington, Keith’s writing partner on the screenplay who plays Rack’s buddy Lonnie, also is funny and natural on the big screen. They are ably supported by professionals like Tom Skerritt, Claire Forlani and Barry Corbin.
The script, however, is a little woolly, like a shaggy dog story. It could be tightened up a lot. For example, at a truck stop in Texas, Lonnie has a conversation with a prostitute, who tries to use her wiles to hitch a ride with them. Rack refuses, but she hides in the back of Lonnie’s fancy truck. Then, Lonnie damages the radiator of his truck when he runs off the road while ogling a pair of coeds in a passing convertible. That’s when Willie Nelson’s character shows up. He pushes their disabled truck to the camp of circus performers he leads. There, Rack and company have to spend the night while the circus mechanic fixes Lonnie’s truck. That’s a total of three delays on the way to the big showdown in Mexico with Tito’s brother, and that doesn’t include the a cappella musical number Lonnie performs with a group of dangerous looking guys in a rest stop restroom. Half of this material or more, especially the less funny and more crude parts, should have been cut and the Mexican showdown extended, to allow for an extra exciting twist in the third act.
Be that as it may, while some of the comedy and action are fun, somewhat clean and entertaining, BEER FOR MY HORSES contains lots of foul language, including some strong profanities. There’s also some sexual content, including lines of dialogue, implied sex between Rack and Annie, and a flash of nudity in one shot. Finally, the movie has some scatological humor. For example, Lonnie realizes that every time his dog passes gas, something important happens. This content does not jive with the church visit that occurs near the movie’s beginning.
MOVIEGUIDE® would like to see a much cleaner, tighter, more redemptive version of this picture. Also, Toby Keith deserves a bigger budgeted venue.
Toby Keith has an easygoing, appealing charm on screen. He and writing partner Rodney Carrington, who plays Lonnie, are ably supported by some professionals, including Tom Skerritt as the sheriff. Sadly, the movie has lots of foul language, some sexual innuendo, brief sexual nudity in one shot, and bathroom humor. Finally, there are at least four delays on the way to the final showdown in Mexico. Half of that material, especially the less funny stuff and the crude elements, could be cut. This could make room for an extra exciting twist at the end.