out of Five
Running time: 112
With a decent plot and some enjoyably comic performances, Beerfest is the best Broken Lizard movie to date, though several of the jokes fall flat.
What's it all about?
Written by the Broken Lizard troupe (Super Troopers, Club Dread) Beerfest stars Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske as the Wolfhouse brothers, who are sent to Germany by their Great Gam Gam (Cloris
Leachman) to spread the ashes of their grandfather (Donald Sutherland) at Oktoberfest. Once there, they discover a secret, underground, centuries-old beer drinking competition called Beerfest, where they are humiliated by the German branch of their brewery-owning family (headed by Juergen Prochnow).
Returning to America, the boys decide to put together a team of hardened drinkers and game-players (including Kevin Heffernan as party boy Landfill, Steve Lemme as scientist Fink and director Jay Chandrasekhar as Barry, a skilled game-player with a dark past) and start training, Rocky-style, in order to field an American team.
Each of the troupe give amusingly comic performances, while there's strong support from Cloris Leachman (reprising her thick foreign accent routine from Young Frankestein) and a surprisingly game Prochnow, who finds himself the butt of several Das Boot-related jokes.
Compared to previous Broken Lizard movies, Beerfest has a surprisingly decent plot – essentially it's a sports movie about beer drinking and drinking games. The majority of the jokes are gloriously non-PC (gags are built around gratuitous nudity, violence and even death) but the troupe perform with such infectious enthusiasm that it's impossible to take offence.
Inevitably, not all the jokes work. Some (yodelled passwords, the Trojan Keg) work brilliantly and comedy German accents will always be funny, but others (e.g. a beer goggles aftermath sequence) fall horribly flat. In addition, the film is a good 20 minutes too long, especially considering its target audience are likely to be liquored up.
It's not for everyone, but this delivers pretty much everything you could be expecting from a film called Beerfest.