The Beach Bum: Film Review

With a cast which includes Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Jonah Hill, I figured Harmony Korine‘s The Beach Bum would be an enjoyable way to spend 95 minutes – but it’s not.

In this stoner comedy, McConaughey stars as Moondog, a poet who is living a hedonistic lifestyle down in the Florida Keys while his rich wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) is at home in Miami. When she unexpectedly dies, Moondog is forced to stop living off her money and focus on writing a new book, otherwise he won’t get his half of her inheritance.

Not much happens in The Beach Bum. We basically just follow Moondog around as he smokes weed, drink copious amount of booze, sleeps with random women and occasionally writes something. And that gets boring pretty quickly. There are moments where “stuff happens”, like Minnie’s death, Moondog breaking out of rehab with fellow inpatient Flicker (Efron) and his pal Captain Wack (Martin Lawrence) encountering sharks, but it’s not enough. It’s too silly, flimsy and not very funny at all. What’s the point of it? And why are there so many shots of topless women?

I know you don’t have to like a lead character to enjoy a movie but I really detested Moondog. He’s such a waste of space and I was hoping he would grow up and take life seriously by the end but he doesn’t. However, McConaughey throws his all into the character, was perfectly cast for the role and it was fun to see him with long blonde hair and dressed in an array of flamboyant and colourful outfits.

It astounds me that so many actors I love chose to be in this movie. I got excited seeing Efron and his panini-inspired facial hair but he’s barely in it, same for Lawrence and Fisher. Hill was quite fun as Moondog’s agent – he used a funny accent – but my favourites were Snoop Dogg as Moondog’s best friend/Minnie’s lover and Stefania LaVie Owen as Moondog’s sensible daughter – she takes none of his s**t.

I don’t understand the point of The Beach Bum. It’s a whole bunch of nothing. Do yourself a favour and avoid.

In select cinemas now and on-demand from 30 October 

Rating: 1/5

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