Running Time: 110 minutes
Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Cloris Leachman, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme
Directed By: Jay Chandrasekhar
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
A quintet of guys represents America at a secret world competition known as Beerfest.
If you have never seen a movie put on by the Broken Lizard Guys (Super Troopers, Club Dread, Slammin’ Salmon) then you are up for something special. All of their films are idiotic, poorly acted, and terribly written. All of that and they are still wildly entertaining and hard not to enjoy. Beerfest is the story of two American brothers who travel to Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest. In their travels they discover a secret beer Olympics that tests each country’s top drinkers in a series of beer drinking events to determine a winner.
If you are the type of person that takes things seriously then this will not be the movie for you. If you have never drank to excess and played drinking games like beer pong or quarters this probably won’t be the movie for you either. To everyone else out there that has blacked out, thrown up, smoked weed, gotten into fights, or any other tomfoolery that stems from drinking than you will probably enjoy this film immensely. This film starts with a funny beer drinking scene and ends with a funny beer drinking scene. The middle is of course filled with funny beer drinking scenes. The two brothers named Tod and Jan put together a team of five guys to represent America at the world Beerfest games. The whole movie can basically be summed up by they train everyday for a year by drinking copious amounts of beer and getting into trouble. The five guys test their mettle out in a string of funny encounters. They drink in their garages, on roof tops, at bars, and even at college parties and it will generate plenty of laughs from the viewer. Nothing is off topic in this film and the jokes come at a steady pace that include a guy pleasuring a frog and a scene detailing the worst possible scenario of what can happen when you are in beer goggle mode.
Of course the acting is less than stellar but the guys are all having fun and their easy chemistry makes this film so enjoyable. Plus the characters are hilarious so this film was never in trouble of being boring. The five guys are made up of the two brothers who own a restaurant together, an obnoxious fat guy, a male prostitute, and a Jewish Scientist. This is a pretty eclectic group of guys that seem bred for comedy. They are supported brilliantly by some over exaggerated characters from around the world. They are represented by the impossible to understand English, the evil Germans, and the blonde Swedes. All of them are ridiculous caricatures and all of them work.
The film works in its simplicity. There are no forced love angles, there are no deep relationship stories, and lastly there is nothing deeper then beer drinking. Sure a stupid story of family honor and national pride gets thrown lackadaisically at the viewer but it is the right story to get the most laughs. By the end of the film you will understand a few things. You will understand that grandmothers can be whores. You will understand that drinking games are a source of immense pride. You will learn a few new drinking games. You will understand that not all movies need deep stories to work. Lastly and most importantly you will understand that the Broken Lizard crew is a funny group of guys.
Director Jay Chandrasekhar has the honor of putting together a decent little film and being its funniest character. He keeps the movie fresh with short interludes of the guys partying in different locales and then moving on. Not all the jokes work but he never lingers on something for long so it never gets boring. A film solely about drinking beer could easily have sucked but he turned it into the suds Fight Club and I liked it.
I give this movie a recommendation to people who like beer and especially to people who like to see people messed up on beer.
T Factor + If you are a fan of the Broken Lizard crew than this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you like your movies with a decent story than this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Super Troopers, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.