Writer/director Harmony Korine - the now-grown enfant terrible who broke out writing the screenplay for the 1995 classic Kids - delivers the ultimate Matthew McConaughey vehicle, a laconically hedonistic party movie in which the
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Writer/director Harmony Korine - the now-grown enfant terrible who broke out writing the screenplay for the 1995 classic Kids - delivers the ultimate Matthew McConaughey vehicle, a laconically hedonistic party movie in which the Oscar-winning actor embraces his image as a laconic hedonist.
McConaughey plays Moondog, a charismatic Florida layabout who seemingly does nothing but party, drink and smoke a lot of weed. A LOT. After being called home by his wife, Minnie (Isla Fisher), for their daughter's wedding, Moondog faces a personal tragedy that may force him to finally finish a long-promised novel. Or he'll just get wasted again, get thrown in rehab, escape with Zac Efron and then get more wasted.
There isn't really a plot here. Although Moondog is po-facedly presented as some kind of genius with past glories as a poet, the film stubbornly refuses to subvert or texture the character's party-hearty persona. Almost nothing phases Moondog and it's rarely less than highly amusing to spend time in his company.
Korine doubles down on the Day-Glo colours from his last feature, 2012's Spring Breakers, layering his new film in appropriately phantasmagoric aesthetics. You will believe in the power of bright yellow neon.
McConaughey's hazy charms are enough to carry the film, but it's also buoyed by hilarious supporting turns from Fisher, Efron (vaping furiously), Martin Lawrence, Snoop Dogg and Jonah Hill, sporting one heck of an accent.
If this seems like the kind of movie in which Margaritaville singer Jimmy Buffett will show up as himself and write a song about Moondog with Snoop, that's because he does, and they do.
Not shallow, but not exactly deep either, The Beach Bum feels like one long, pleasant music video. In the best possible sense.
Director: Harmony Korine
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Martin Lawrence, Zac Efron, Jonah Hill
Running time: 96 mins
Verdict: Matthew McConaughey achieves peak Matthew McConaughey