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'The Beach Bum' might be the ultimate McCona-role

Loopy tone poem starring Austin's Matthew McConaughey premiered at SXSW

Joe Gross

If you had to make up a movie role to fulfill the mandate of “Most Matthew McConaughey Character Ever,” you would likely come up with something very like Moondog, the loopy, hard-drinking-and-drugging titular character in Harmony “Spring Breakers” Korine’s oddball flick, “The Beach Bum.” The movie premiered earlier this month at South by Southwest Film Festival.

Complete with stringy, half-blonde hair, impossibly ugly flip-up sunglasses and a penchant for what I think are women’s silk-and-fur robes, Moondog is Wooderson of “Dazed and Confused” cranked to 11 and transported from '70s Texas to contemporary Florida, where all manner of wealthy debauchery takes place in the water between the Keys and Miami. If it floats, you can party on it.

But then, it helps to have a lot of money, which Moondog does. Well, maybe HE doesn’t, but his wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) has about a hundred million dollars, so Minnie spends most of her time with a rapper pal named Lingerie (Snoop Dogg as Snoop Dogg) while Moondog sexes and drugs himself (man, there’s a lot of weed in this movie) into sun-dappled, color-saturated oblivion. As Moondog notes to the missus, “I’m a bottom-feeder, baby. I gotta go low to get high,” which pretty well sum up the entire flick. Did I mention the volume of weed?

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Meanwhile, his literary agent (Jonah Hill with a baffling Louisiana accent) would really like Moondog to finish next collection of poems, but eh, neither party seems all that worried.

Nobody seems worried about anything in this bonkers flick. Complete with Jimmy Buffett in tow, Korine has made a semi-improvised-seeming tone ... poem (I guess that’s the right word) about the indulgent oddness of the rich and/or bohemian at the edge of Florida.

There’s barely a plot in this thing, just a series of events that Moondog reacts to (or not). Look for Zac Efron, doing his best to give himself range, as a doofus with nutso hair named Flicker and Martin Lawrence as the captain of a dolphin-sighting boat who seems to have completely forgotten how sharks work. There is a marriage, there is a death. Moondog remains.

Indeed, McConaughey, who is in virtually every frame, is really the only reason to see “The Beach Bum.” McConanerds will love it, it’s likely everyone else will be scratching their heads. Eh, screw it, who wants a margarita?

Cue the Buffett.

'The Beach Bum'

Grade: B-

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher.

Rating: R for pervasive drug and alcohol use, nudity, language throughout and some strong sexual content.

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

Theaters: Alamo Lakeline, Alamo South, Arbor, Barton Creek, City Lights, Hill Country, Moviehouse 620, Moviehouse Lantana, Pflugerville 20, Violet Crown, Westgate.

More online: See photos from the South by Southwest red carpet premiere of "The Beach Bum" at