I was cold sober — and, having seen the loose-and-lazy Super Troopers, plenty skeptical — when I sat down for the latest addition to comedy frat Broken Lizard’s oeuvre. By the end, I was nicely buzzed, if also slightly queasy at the sight or thought of beer. Most important, I felt oddly respected: Neck-deep in barley and boobs, marinated in urine, Beerfest panders shamelessly to the 15-year-old in this 30-year-old… without assuming he is a 15-year-old. It’s R-rated puerility for actual immature grown-ups.
The feint of a story follows men-children Todd and Jan Wolfhouse to Munich, where they’re instructed to scatter the ashes of their grandfather (Donald Sutherland, in an appropriately tipsy cameo) at a secret enter-the-flagon guzzle-ympics called Beerfest. There they meet their old-country cousins, drinking champions whose Teutonic patriarch (Das Boot’s Jürgen Prochnow) accuses the Yanks of filching the long-lost family beer recipe. Challenges are made, everybody chugs, and the Wolfhouse boys are sent home with their livers tucked between their legs. Then ensues a long, and near-nauseating, training montage, as the Wolfhouse boys assemble a dream team of hops-heads (the rest of the Lizard gang) and condition their systems for (wait for it) Das Boot, a massive boot-shaped stein. Will good old-fashioned American alcoholism triumph over evil old-fashioned German alcoholism in the big rematch? Bet on it, and bet on this: These guys did their own stunts.