A Beer Tale (2012) – Review

2 Stars

When twin brothers Luke and Corey Frankenstein’s parents leave them orphans at age five, they’re taken in by their beer swilling uncle. Set to inherit the family brewery, the two grow up drinking and causing trouble around the facilities. Now, all grown up the pair set out to finish the beer their parents started creating twenty years ago. As they work, their lives begin to take different roads and a wedge is driven between the brothers. Luke wants wants to settle down and start a family, the one thing he missed out on during his childhood. Corey wants to sow his wild oats, party and have fun. Can the two come together to finish their family brew?

A Beer Tale plays like a bad homage to Edward Burns movies. There’s even a short appearance by Scott Patterson, who looks a little like the poor man’s version of Burns. The film-maker’s hearts are in the right place, and I’d chalk this mild failure up to inexperience on every level. For a movie like this to work we have to connect and care about the characters. This doesn’t happen. Neither through the writing nor through the performances. It feels simply too soon for everyone working on this project. The storyline is hampered by not actually being about what the title suggests. There’s little beer brewing involved here, and in fact the majority of the film takes place outside the brewery as the brothers screw around with friends and girls. This leaves the family connection of the brewery and the quest to finish their parent’s beer recipe in the cracks of a film that purports to be about just that, connection and family. And let’s face it, brewing beer is far more interesting than another cookie cutter coming of age story.

Bad acting, screenwriting and film-making sink what started out as a good idea for a film. There’s simply no follow through here, even after going through all the trouble of filming at a real brewery (Left Hand), these guys could have been working on Wall Street or race car drivers or astronauts or insert whatever job you’d like here. A Beer Tale never feels original or worthwhile.

Director: Lee Roy Kunz
Stars: Lee Roy Kunz, Cru Ennis, Zelda Williams, Scott Patterson, Alexandra Paul

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