A film about a pro-war man from New York City bringing a bunch of beers to his buddies fighting in Vietnam—sounds like a clickbait video I'd find somewhere in the depths of YouTube at 3 a.m.
The thing is, The Greatest Beer Run Ever is actually a true story, and the result is about a million times greater than anything I could've ever predicted going into this film.
Initially set in the neighborhood of 1967 Inwood in New York City, Zac Efron plays John "Chickie" Donohue, a merchant marine who spends half of his time sleeping and the other half getting drunk with his friends at the local bar. A classic don't-question-authority type of guy, Chickie firmly believes that the war effort in Vietnam is justified—and that everyone else probably feels the same way.
Though when he wanders past an anti-war protest in a local park and finds his sister there, it spurs him to make a lofty decision: to travel to Vietnam and show his friends and the other troops that the American people are still behind them. Oh, and to hand-deliver some American beer right into their hands. He's also traveling there almost to prove something to the nay-sayers: that the Vietnam War isn't just a bunch of uncontrolled chaos with zero direction.
But there's something else going on here: he's attempting to prove himself right, a last-ditch act of consolation shielded by a veneer of American beer, a symbol of the almighty American Dream in and of itself.