The Reel Review
Matthew McConaughey stars in this comedy as Moondog, a poet and pothead who lives off of his wealthy wife (Isla Fisher), spending his time stoned, swilling beer and having sex with every woman he can get his hands on from Key West to Miami. When a life changing event occurs, the hedonistic party monster is told he must make some life changes. But will he?
Writer/director Harmony Korine’s story of a “don’t worry, be happy” stoner is intended to be a celebration of the unconventional artist’s lifestyle, but its end product is a lazy, vulgar, incoherent mess. McConaughey looks like he is having way more fun than those of us having to endure him playing this self-indulgent, emotion-avoiding man-child. Despite its unabashed hedonism, the film is as boring as it is pointless, relying on shocking moments and juvenile Cheech and Chong weed humor. The film’s schtick, a series of crude, pointless vignettes set to quirky song choices, wears thin after five minutes.
McConaughey’s performance is little more than him stumbling around acting like a jackass for an hour and a half. The one funny moment of the film, Martin Lawrence’s portrait of a sketchy boat captain cluelessly chartering family dolphin tours to shark-infested waters, even falls apart after a few minutes. Jonah Hill, copping a bizarre Truman Capote/Foghorn Leghorn Southern accent as Moondog’s literary agent, is likely the single worst acting performance of 2019. When Snoop Dogg is one of your best actors in your film, you know you are in trouble.
•.Director Harmony Korine says he came up with the idea for The Beach Bum following the darkness of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
• The Beach Bum is Martin Lawrence’s first film since 2011’s Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.
• The little girl on the dolphin tour boat is writer/director Harmony Korine’s daughter.