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Beer for My Horses
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by Charles Tatum

"Straight from the horse's ass"
1 stars

Forget the damn horses, humans will want to be numbing their brain cells with alcohol after watching this.

Toby Keith is "Rack" Racklin, a kind of stupid deputy in a small town in southwestern Oklahoma. He and his best friend, an even stupider deputy named Lonnie (Rodney Carrington) serve under a weary sheriff (Tom Skerritt, being overly serious for such a throwaway role). Rack has just broken up with his girlfriend (Gina Gershon), for the final time when he finds out his old high school sweetheart Annie (Claire Forlani) has returned to town to take care of her sick mother. Rack never did get along with Annie's stepfather (Barry Corbin), but the two take up where they left off before she left for the bright lights of Chicago.

Rack and Lonnie arrest a Mexican cartel drug lord (Greg Serano) who was trying to steal fertilizer for methamphetamine production, and in retaliation, the drug lord's powerful brother (Carlos Sanz) kidnaps Annie and holds her hostage across the border in Mexico. Our intrepid heroes decide to road trip to rescue her, meeting up with assorted colorful folk along the way in the form of a carnival troupe in their down season headed up by Willie Nelson (who sang with Keith in the awful song that inspired this awful movie).

I have so many thoughts running through my head after sitting through this- none of them good. Before you think "here's another urban non-country music fan trashing one of our own," I should tell you that I am a fifth generation born Texan. I have been to one of the towns where the film takes place, visiting family who lived there for almost a decade (and by the way, New Mexico makes a poor stand-in for Oklahoma). I am first and foremost a fan of good movies, and this is not a good film at all.

This was cowritten by Keith and Carrington. I have never seen Carrington's stand-up act, a lot of my friends are fans, but if this is his idea of funny, I don't think I'll be headed over to YouTube to check him out anytime soon. The film is top heavy with cameos and bit parts for anyone who happened to wander onto the set. It's nice to see Mel Tillis again, but if all of these scenes were cut, the film would run about an hour. The film makers wisely give Ted Nugent only two words of dialogue, he's awkward even playing his part silently. The rest of the cast is awful, Gershon comes off best simply because she has one scene and is lucky enough to disappear from the rest of the film.

The funniest thing that happens in the film is completely lost on the characters, and the film makers. In the climax, the true villain behind the big case is revealed, and it shocks the hell out of Rack (we even get the obligatory "talking villains" spelling out to our simple-minded heroes how they committed the crimes). As a member of the audience, you will have this "twist" figured out as soon as this person appears onscreen earlier in the film. Rack and Lonnie don't do any detective work, or enforce laws of any kind. They drive down to a foreign country in a souped-up Ford (the film serves as an infomercial for Ford pickup trucks), shoot a bunch of stuff, and come back safely...no spoiler, you don't honestly think a film that makes "The Dukes of Hazzard" look like "Dog Day Afternoon" is going to put any of their cast in any real jeopardy, do you?

I've wasted enough words describing the awfulness of this film, without going into too much detail about Keith's performance (what is he constantly smiling at?), Carrington's borderline mentally challenged character, the white trash small town folks, and Dan Rather's unspeakable cameo (oh, how the mighty have fallen). This was released into less than a hundred theaters, and grossed less than a million dollars. That is how much confidence the studio had in "Beer for My Horses." I am confident that if you have more than half a brain, you won't bother with this.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=26373&reviewer=325
originally posted: 02/16/14 13:42:40
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USA
  08-Aug-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 11-Nov-2008

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A (M)




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