Film Review: ‘The Beach Bum’ is a Sharp Stick Satire by Harmony Korine

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CHICAGO – The beach life is the paradise that most Americans aspire to, and either get it when they’re not ready or when they’re too old. The off-kilter director Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers) presupposes all of the life through Matthew McConaughey, in an incredible tour de farce called, appropriately, “The Beach Bum.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Most people believe that this is how McConaughey actually lives (or lived) this life, so with perfect casting energy Korine lets the “all right all right all right” guy take the beach ball and run with it. He completes the casting with Snoop Dog (natch), Jimmy Buffett (natch) and Isla Fisher (sort of doing her “Wedding Crashers” character), plus Zach Efron, Jonah Hill and Martin Lawrence (yes, THE Martin Lawrence) playing against expectations. Like Korine’s previous films, it goes to some dark places, but that is part of the reality of living like a beach bum. The McConaughey character is a sociopath, but that is part of the “fun.”

Moondog (Matthew M) is living the dream of the Florida beach life in Key West and Miami, and is a substance/moral abuser of that dream. He is a published poet, but his real muse is the money his wealthy wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) provides for his lifestyle. When his daughter Heather (Stefania LaVie Owen) is getting married, for example, Moondog is late because he’s schtupping a woman he picked up at a bar.

These lifestyle choices catch up with him when Minnie dies in an auto accident, in part caused by Moondog being blitzed out. Her will specifically stipulates he is cut off from funds until he completes another poetry book. His friends Lingerie (Snoop Dogg), Lewis (Jonah Hill) and Captain Wack (Martin Lawrence) can’t help him, nor can a fellow traveler named Flicker (Zac Efron) he meets in rehab. This beach bum is going to have to do it on his own.

“The Beach Bum” opens everywhere on March 29th. Featuring Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dog, Isla Fisher, Zach Efron, Jonah Hill, Martin Lawrence, Stefania LaVie Owen and Jimmy Buffett. Written and directed by Harmony Korine. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Beach Bum”

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Poetry Man: Matthew McConaughey is Moondog in ‘The Beach Bum’
Photo credit: Neon

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Beach Bum”

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