Time: 95 Minutes
Matthew McConaughey as Moondog
Isla Fisher as Minnie
Snoop Dogg as Lingerie (“Rie”)
Zac Efron as Flicker
Jonah Hill as Lewis
Stefania LaVie Owen as Heather
Martin Lawrence as Captain Wack
Jimmy Buffett as himself
Director: Harmony Korine
Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) is a fun-loving, pot-smoking, beer-drinking writer who lives life on his own terms in Florida. If he can put down the drugs for just one minute, he may finally be able to put his talent to good use and finish the next great American novel.
The Beach Bum is a movie I’ve been hearing about for a little while. All I knew about it outside of the cast was that it was directed by Harmony Korine, who also made Spring Breakers. I haven’t seen Spring Breakers, but I heard that it was quite divisive, so I expected The Beach Bum to be similar and wasn’t quite sure how it was going to be. Having seen it, I honestly can’t tell who will like it and who won’t. I don’t hate The Beach Bum, and it has some aspects that I liked, but for the most part it really didn’t work for me.
Stoner comedies aren’t necessarily one of my favourite genres to say the least but there’s a few I like. The Beach Bum meanders quite a lot and is really unfocussed, sometimes that can work but it really didn’t here for me. For the first 30 minutes or so I was somewhat on board with it, or at least willing to give it a chance. It didn’t necessarily have things that annoyed me, but after a while it got tedious. After that first 30 minutes I really dropped off, and was liking this movie less and less as it was progressing. I know that a lot of people found the movie hilarious, but personally I didn’t find really any of it funny, I was just watching things happen, and at times it could be painfully unfunny. By the time it got halfway through this movie, I wanted to switch the movie off. I really didn’t get anything from the movie, I wasn’t even entertained. Even McConaughey’s performance could only do so much to make me not give up.
The cast are generally good. The absolute highlight was Matthew McConaughey as the lead character of Moondog, which was perfect casting, I can’t imagine anyone else playing the role. While I really don’t think I liked his character as much as the movie wanted me to (it’s actually quite obnoxious how much it really loves him), McConaughey is electric in the role that he makes it work for at least a good amount of time. Without him being so good in that lead role, I think I might’ve been on the point of borderline loathing watching the movie. Most of the supporting performances are pretty good, with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Isla Fisher involved contributing a decent amount. Jonah Hill and Zac Efron are alright (Efron is actually really good and does a lot to make himself stand out, even alongside McConaughey) but they don’t really get a lot of screentime.
Now this is the first movie by Harmony Korine that I’ve seen, but I mostly like his direction of the movie. It’s got a good look to it and the music choices were also good, they fitted the movie quite well. For the most part I don’t really have many issues with his overall direction. There’s enough here for me to give maybe some of his other movies I chance (potentially).
As someone who haven’t seen Harmony Korine’s other movies, I guess I can say that if you’re already really interested in seeing The Beach Bum, check it out and see it for yourself. Otherwise I’m not sure that I can recommend this movie. I mostly liked Harmony Korine’s direction of the movie, and there is some good acting (mainly from McConaughey), but after the first 30 minutes (which I wasn’t even really into), it just grows incredibly tedious and borderline annoying. I still might check out Spring Breakers, I really hope I like it a lot more than Korine’s latest.