THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER is based on the true story of one man’s journey from New York City to the heart of the Vietnam War in 1967 to bring beer to his childhood friends. “Chickie” Donohue wants to feel purpose in his life and in the war. He decides to support those serving overseas by offering them a taste of home. However, Donohue realizes that the media portrayal of the war, his support for American leadership and the chaos of reality don’t line up at all. Through a series of adventures and misadventures, Donohue comes home with a new perspective.
THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER has some compelling elements, especially Russell Crowe’s performance as a journalist photographing the war’s tragedy and chaos. Zac Efron is less compelling as the protagonist. Also, the movie struggles to get off the ground. For example, the dialogue is clunky and dull until the protagonist arrives in Vietnam. THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER has some Christian, morally uplifting content, but the movie is marred by foul language, immoral content and revisionist history. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
(B, C, P, Pa, RH, LLL, VV, S, AA, D, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light moral worldview about the importance of sacrifice, with some patriotic themes and Christian elements like church and prayer, but mixed with light pagan elements and some leftist revisionist history about the Vietnam, War
At least 44 obscenities (including two “f” words), several Jesus profanities, six GD profanities, and 12 light profanities
Strong war violence throughout, including torture and war injuries, elephants are shown with injuries from napalm, people are shot and bombed, and in a striking scene a soldier loses his arm and walks around in shock
No sex scenes, but there are several sexual references, which include the protagonist says he got a venereal disease the first time he fornicated
By nature of its title, the movie contains many scenes with people drinking beer and other alcohol, one scene in a pub shows men getting drunk
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Several scenes of military personnel smoking cigars and cigarettes, but no drugs; and,
Due to the movie’s odd tone, some viewers might find it does a disservice to the real-life events for the sake of getting emotional responses from the audience.
THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER is based on the true story of a man’s journey from New York City to the heart of the war in Vietnam in 1967 to bring beer to his childhood friends at the front lines. THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER has some compelling elements, including some positive Christian, morally uplifting content, but it’s marred by clunky dialogue, an uneven performance by Zac Efron as the protagonist, lots of foul language, some superficial pagan morality, and some revisionist history.
Donohue, who is a merchant mariner, is on break and spends most of his nights hanging out with his friends at the local pub and complaining about the media’s portrayal of the war in Vietnam. Donohue’s father and sister, while they disagree on the necessity of the war, both give Donohue a hard time for not working or supporting the troops in a tangible way. Donohue feels convicted about not helping the troops but knows that he disagrees with the protestors who disrespect LBJ, the President at the time, and want to pull the troops out of Vietnam.
Donohue is struck with an idea to bring a gym bag full of beers to the Army troops serving in Vietnam who he grew up with in New York. His family and friends think Donohue’s joking, but word circulates in their community, and girlfriends and mothers start to give Donohue items to bring to their loved ones who are serving overseas.
Donohue makes up his mind and joins the crew of a cargo ship sailing ammo to Vietnam. After persuading the captain of the boat to let him take three days leave, Donohue embarks on his journey across Vietnam to give beer to the troops.
However, Donohue soon begins to realize that the media and the US government aren’t entirely truthful about the reality of the war in Vietnam. Will Donohue survive his brave, but naïve, mission to the troops and catch a ride back home?
THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER has some compelling elements, especially Russell Crowe’s character, who portrays a journalist photographing the tragedy and chaos of the war in Saigon. The characters meet after a battle reaches Saigon amid an alleged ceasefire. However, the movie’s protagonist, Donohue (played by Zac Efron), is less compelling. While Donahue’s character arc is unique, the movie struggles to find a consistent tone. Also, the movie struggles to get off the ground, because the dialogue is clunky and dull until Donohue arrives in Vietnam.
THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER has some positive Christian, morally uplifting content, but its worldview is confusing due to some superficial pagan morals and revisionist history. The movie also has lots of foul language and brief lewd references. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for older teenagers and adults.
Although the movie gives the standard liberal critique about the Vietnam War, the truth is actually quite different. For example, contrary to what the liberal press reported at the time, America and South Vietnam won the Tet Offensive and eventually brought the communists to the peace table. Also, when Democrats in Congress refused to monetarily support the South Vietnam government in the middle of the 1970s, the communists in Vietnam and Cambodia took control and murdered and oppressed millions of people. Finally, when all is said and done, the American presence in Southeast Asia allowed places like South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong to pursue economic and political freedom, and protect themselves from the communist tyrants in Russia and China. Even today, because of the feckless foreign policy of liberals, Russia and Communist China once again seem to be bringing the world to the brink of World War III.
THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER opened in theaters and on Apple TV+ at the same time.
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