You have those actors that draw people in right? These movies that utilize this card sometimes take the path last taken and offer a… unique twist to tell a story. Welcome to Robbie K’s movie review, and tonight’s movie utilized this tactic quite well in the form of Matthew McConaughey. Bringing the wild Lincoln showman to the screen, they hoped to take a very unique concept to the silver screen and wow us with a movie about drugs. What is in store? Well stick around to find out as I review:
Movie: The Beach Bum 2019
McConaughey can act stoned
Funny… at times
Less than 2 hours
Good Musical Score
As stated above, The Beach Bum is certainly an experience that tries to point out the “fun” life can have if you have power to get past illegal actions. The lead continues to show he can play a variety of roles, with a legitimate stoner role being added to his resume. Moon dog the carefree spirit was a very unique role and I think that McConaughey succeeded in the free spirit approach that it required. At times, his ramblings, drunken stupors, and facial expressions were entertaining, some well-timed jokes matching perfectly with the theme. Yet there were other moments where Snoop Dogg was able to steal the show just being himself. This Bum was able to get some laughs at, but it didn’t quite leave me in stitches like other comedies do.
Instead, the movie does get points for the “experience” component of it. Moon dog’s journey does have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that once it arrives turns out to be a semi-inspirational message that I think will please the target audience. However, the path to get there is not going to be for everyone, but fortunately the movie has a couple of other high points for me that might make it better. One of them is the fact that the movie is under 2 hours long so we get to the end hopefully faster. The second and probably best thing for me though, is the great musical score that spans a number of decades that really sells the feelings that Moon dog is putting down in his sequences. That track listing has a good toe tapping theme to it and it works so well for this reviewer.
Cameos are okay
Graphic displays of life
Not as Witty as I was hoping
Too Artistic Overall
Taking artistic approaches is a gamble and sometimes it will only hit the target audience, and that is the case for me for this film. With Moon dog being a free spirit capable of hitting so many avenues he aimlessly wanders around in the film, with little to no point to his amblings. The result is a movie that feels like it’s going nowhere for me, with pacing that feels slow as molasses with the minutes dragging by. Perhaps it’s the ridiculous concepts and the horrible means by how the stoner accomplishes his goals is not the most entertaining or plot driven component. If that’s the kind of style you are looking for in a movie, then you’ll find great joy in this movie.
Other components that did not work well with me started with some of the lazy writing. Moon dog and company don’t have the best vocabulary. While this may work well with the mindset he established, hearing the copious number of cursing and graphic metaphors did nothing, but grow stale for me by the first third of the movie. In addition, watching Moon dog do horrible things to people, wasn’t even that fun for me, with the carefree debauchery more revolting that thrilling to watch as the sad story continued to progress. Perhaps the cameos could have saved it, but again the movie didn’t quite utilize in the means I was hoping to get from the glimpses the trailers provided. Most of the celebrities were just as sad of messes, offering little more than more bouts of lazy writing and stupid risk taking that was a sad spectacle. Other times, it merely involved McConaughey’s character taking advantage of the extras and side actors, in displays I care not to have my eyes exposed too for long bouts. The Beach Bum’s first third felt much like a porno, which isn’t my cup of tea when going to see most films. In addition, we all know that comedies can sometimes be designed for stupid fun, but this journey lacked any sort of wit and resorted to simplistic stoner techniques that did nothing for me in terms of comedic gold . As such, the bottom line comes down to the movie being a little too free spirited itself to make for an engaging story or adventure to tell.
I agree with the other reviewers that the movie is artistic and a little more original in its approach than most movies will take. However, I don’t think the risk paid off well when it came to this reviewer’s preference for a movie. Unlike Seinfeld, this movie about nothing but living life just didn’t entertain, and the meandering around the state of Florida doing nothing but smashing the rules, acting stupid, and acting as a PSA for the repercussions of chronic substance abuse are not my idea of a theater movie. Perhaps if left to made for television or streaming it would get higher, but in regards to the other comedies coming out I recommend passing this one up for something else that is worth the price of admission. My scores are:
Movie Overall: 3.0