Like beer, that first bracing gulp is the best, the next two swallows sublime, but sometime around the third six-pack, you begin to get sleepy, ornery, hazy and aggressive all at once, while walking in seven different directions. Plus, you have to go to the bathroom.
That's "Beerfest," an endless summer of a movie. It's the product of the five-man comedy team Broken Lizard, which has brought its brand of anarchistic craziness to two earlier films, "Super Troopers" and "Club Dread." The boys aren't smarter or funnier, only longer. An hour and 50 minutes! Were they trying for the "War and Peace" of chugger flicks?
The deal: The Wolfhouse brothers, Jan and Todd (Broken Liz boys Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske), head to Munich to spread Grandpapa's ashes at Oktoberfest and end up involved in the Secret Beer Olympics. The event is a world-class chugging contest with additional brew games like pong and darts and quarters thrown in. The boys, who have aspirations of membership in beer aristocracy, join but are humiliated. They vow vengeance.
No surprise, they recruit the other three members of Broken Lizard, Jay Chandrasekhar (who also directed, as he usually does), Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme, to help. The boys train by drinking dozens of beers a night, occasionally receiving advice from Grandpapa's widow (called Gam Gam), played by old pro Cloris Leachman in the same tone she brought to "Young Frankenstein" years ago.
Anyhow: What's funny to Broken Lizard? Let's try: What's not funny? The answers are, everything and nothing. They'll do anything for a laugh, no matter how puerile, silly or offensive. Gay is funny, death is funny, ping pong paddles crammed where the sun don't shine is funny, Germany is funny, shooting people is funny, beer is funny, puke is funny, peeing is funny and on and on.
-- Stephen Hunter
Contains nudity, scenes of drug use and crude, profane humor.