February 4, 2007
I first became acquainted with the comedy troupe Broken Lizard in Super Troopers (2002) — a movie I expected nothing from (and had to be cajoled into watching), and which has turned out to be one of my all-time favorite comedies.
Their second outing, Club Dread (2004) was a reasonably competent, but ultimately predictable and unmemorable horror spoof — not a bad little film, mind you, but it didn’t have any of the chemistry and timing that made Super Troopers worth sitting through time and again.
Beerfest, their latest effort, comes quite a bit closer to the mark. It’s still no Super Troopers, but the ensemble chemistry is working much better, the plot (as sophomoric as it might be) is again offbeat and weird, and they are back to dropping outrageous and memorable little details in a trail of tiny comedic timebombs that ultimately are funnier than the main plot — restoring the family honor and claiming their rightful inheritance of the best brewery in the world, by putting together a crack team of US beer drinkers and drunken gamers to take on “ze Germans” in Beerfest — an ultra-secret Olympics of beer drinking held in Munich during Octoberfest.
Extra points for Cloris Leachman, who manages to turn in both a funny and uncomfortably creepy performance as the main characters’ ex-prostitute great-grandmother — played like “Frau Blucher” (from Young Frankenstein) at about 105…
It’s not likely to suck me in every time I happen to channel-surf across it like Super Troopers does, but Beerfest was definitely worth the watch, and gives me a nice warm fuzzy about what might be coming next from the group.