"Beer for My Horses" tells the story of two best friends that work together as deputies in a small town. The two defy the Sheriff and head off on an outrageous road trip to save the protagonist's girlfriend from drug lord kidnappers.
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Bill Racklin is a deputy sheriff in Greer County Oklahoma, the crystal meth capital of the region. His girlfriend leaves him because he's inattentive to her, but things look up when his high-school sweetheart, Annie Streets, returns home to care for her ailing mother. Annie's step-father, Buck Baker, is the local heartless rich guy, buying up farmland. On a stakeout, Rack and two other deputies arrest four men stealing fertilizer to make crystal meth; one of the four is the brother of a notorious Mexican drug dealer. The drug lord arranges Annie's kidnapping and holds her to ransom his brother. Rack and the deputies, prisoner in tow, head for Mexico to rescue her. Written by
"Beer For My Horses" is a redneck-flavored "buddy cop" comedy starring country music superstar Toby Keith and down-home comedian Rodney Carrington (the pair also co-wrote the script) as small-town Oklahoma sheriff deputies. Toby's the strong silent hero type while Rodney provides the goofball comic relief. When the two stop a gang of crooks from stealing fertilizer from a local farm, one of their prisoners turns out to be the brother of a particularly vicious Mexican drug lord. From there you can pretty much write the script yourself -- the prisoner tells Keith "My brother is going to kill you," Toby laughs it off, then his girlfriend is kidnapped right out of her car on a country road late at night. Of course, the prisoner's brother is responsible, and he arranges an exchange -- "You bring me my brother or I'll kill the girl." Thus, Keith and Carrington sneak their prisoner out of jail and head off to Mexico in Carrington's absurdly over-the-top monster pickup truck, having various misadventures along the way (some of which are far too silly to describe here) before a final showdown South of the Border. Do I really need to tell you how it all turns out? I didn't think so. Toby Keith has suggested that this film is meant to be an homage to the "Cannonball Run" or "Smokey and the Bandit" movies, i.e. not to be taken very seriously. To me, it seemed like they weren't sure whether they were making a straight-up cop movie or a screwball comedy, and never found the proper balance between the two. Toby's a decent enough actor, and Carrington is always good for a few yuks, but I was actually embarrassed for him by the time we got to the scene in a rest-stop men's room where he leads a group of loitering gang-bangers in a sing-along. Willie Nelson is always a welcome presence in movies like these, but he seems wasted in a bit part as the father figure of a traveling circus. I got the most laughs out of the first half hour or so, showcasing Toby's domestic problems and the lack of respect he gets at work from his superior officers. Once they hit the road for Mexico, the movie starts to fall apart. My favorite character in the whole movie is Ted Nugent, who plays a fellow deputy who never speaks (except for two words at the end) -- knowing what a motormouth he is in real life, I imagine it must've been hell for him to keep his trap shut for nearly the entire movie!! In short, "Beer For My Horses" is OK for a few laughs if you happen to catch it on Country Music Television (where it airs on a seemingly weekly basis) but not something you need to seek out unless you're a fan of any of the participants.
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