Meet Moondog — a movie character you’ll want to punch in the face.
He’s a middle-aged stoner who inhales booze, has prolific public sex with women who are not his wife and owns a boat named Well Hung. He is also a celebrated poet and lives in Florida. His motto? “I’m a bottom feeder. I go low to get high.”
“The Beach Bum” goes so low, it’s in the sub-basement.
Moondog, the title character of director Harmony Korine’s alleged comedy, is played by Matthew McConaughey, America’s real-life beach bum. The actor has said some of the prop marijuana used on-set was real. Big surprise. This is a movie by potheads for potheads.
Thus, the plot is blazed and confused. When Moondog’s wealthy wife (Isla Fisher) — who’s having an affair with a rapper played by Snoop Dogg — dies in a car accident, he discovers she’s put his inheritance in escrow until he finishes writing a book of poetry. She rightly understands that lazy stoners need major incentives.
Most of the movie concerns the different encounters he has while he totes around a typewriter and tokes up. Zac Efron plays the son of a preacher going through rehab who loves “lighting s–t on fire.” Jonah Hill is his literary agent, Lewis, a Southerner who uses hard drugs and spouts profanities on the golf course. Jimmy Buffett lounges around drinking margaritas while topless women giggle.
The one very funny scene is provided by Martin Lawrence as a dolphin spotting boat tour guide who’s had “only four deaths on my watch in eight years” and owns a coke-addicted parrot. That bit is the height of this film’s sophistication.
What’s especially awkward is that Korine, the provocateur who wrote “Kids” and directed “Spring Breakers,” films “The Beach Bum” quite beautifully, implying he thinks this crap has some artistic merit. It doesn’t. What the flick has is a selfish louse of a main character, who it insists we like. Moondog’s the kind of guy you don’t invite to a party because he might set your cat on fire, and then tell you to not freak out.
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