Review: The Peanut Butter Falcon

What do you want for his life?

Zak (Zack Gottsagen) is a 22 year old man with down syndrome leaving in a retirement home because that's the only place the state can put him. He's looked after by friendly employee Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) but he dreams of running away to a wrestling school to learn to become a professional wrestler. He escapes and crosses paths with Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) a man on the run from people he has wronged. They form a bond and Tyler promises to get Zak to that school.

This feels like a family film geared towards indie loving crowds. There's an inherent sweetness about it, despite the fact that its littered with stereotypes. The biggest sell is the chemistry between Zak and Tyler and Gottsagen and LaBeouf have plenty of that to go around. Tyler is dealing with some serious trauma and even though he's reluctant to let Zak tag along at first, he genuinely warms up to him and you can tell it's something they both need. 

Shia might be more known lately for the weird shit he does off screen, but this guy has always been a hell of an actor and he shows it again here. I only wish the 3rd lead, Dakota Johnson would've been putting as much heart into it as the other two. She just doesn't have the range to keep up. 

Now this might just be me personally, aside from not liking some of the stereotypes and Johnson's abysmal acting, I was enjoying myself quite a bit until the film attempts the most manipulative and stupid fake out that I have seen in a long time. It bothered me so much that I swear this film dropped an entire letter grade. I'm still trying to wrap my ahead around what the filmmakers were thinking. I can only deduce that it was "because symbolism."

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+ 

Memorable Quote: "Tyler, you can have all the wishes at my birthday party." - Zak (Zack Gottsagen)

Comments

  1. Bernthal is in this....so eventually I will check it out for sure :)

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    1. He has no lines but he does show up to smile lol

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  2. I want to see it because I heard Jake "The Snake" Roberts is in it and it is about professional wrestling, not that pussified-bullshit that is sports entertainment, and it is about a kid and his love for this wrestler. I might be wary about LaBeouf at times and Dakota Johnson is hit/miss but I'll check it out soon.

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  3. Seeing this tomorrow (finally). I'll definitely be back to read the finer details. :)

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  4. Nice review! I hate fake-outs, but I'm interested to see what this one contains and how I'll feel about it. I'll probably have to check it out on-demand since it's not coming to my area.

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    1. I also meant to say that I totally agree about Shia. He might not have the greatest off-screen reputation, but he's proven to be a unique and good actor since his Disney days.

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    2. Absolutely. Shia has always been a solid actor, it's a shame he seems to be an alcoholic. I'm really looking forward to what he does with Honey Boy.

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