The answer is “don’t slow me down” in case you are interested, but hey, rules were meant to be broken, right?
You might remember that back in November of 2017 we reviewed My Feral Heart, a movie which featured a young actor, Steve Brandon, who has Down’s Syndrome, who played Luke, a young man desperate to get away from the “home” he’s been placed into.
Well, The Peanut Butter Falcon follows where My Feral Heart went and introduces us to Zack Gottsagen (“Bulletproof (Short)”), an early twenties actor with Down Syndrome who takes the lead as Zak.
Zak has no family, no next of kin and winds up in an old people’s home as it’s the only place that can take him. He tries, on numerous occasions, to escape, which all end in failure and he winds up back in his room now with bars on the window.
As he sits with his roomie Carl, Bruce Dern (“Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”, “White Boy Rick”), watching the video of his favourite wrestler Salt Water Redneck, Thomas Haden Church (“Hellboy”, “John Carter”), Carl has an idea and, that night, he bends the bards and Zak, wearing nothing but his tighty whities, escapes to freedom.
Zak winds up stowing away on Tyler’s boat, Shia LaBeouf (“Lawless”, “Transformers”), a man who has just set fire to a ton of fishing equipment owned by Duncan, John Hawkes (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, “Earthbound & Down (TV)”), who, understandably, is pissed.
The two unlikely fugitives form a pact and head south, Tyler to Florida, Zak to Salt Water’s wrestling school which is somewhere along the way. The two are eventually joined by Eleanor, Dakota Johnson (“Bad Times At The El Royale”, “Suspiria”), Zak’s carer who has been sent to look for him.
Along the way the band meet all manner of people, including each other, whilst being chased by Duncan and his cronies but, more importantly, they get to know each other and Eleanor gets to see how Zak can do more than she perhaps gave him credit for.
Written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz (“The Moped Diaries (Short)”, “Alex Honnold’s Urban Ascents (Short)”), The Peanut Butter Falcon is a wonderfully feel-good movie that will keep you laughing throughout.
For someone not from the deep south, or even from the US of A, I did struggle with the accents on a few occasions, and the ending is a bit, well, much. But otherwise this is a wonderful film.
It’s gloriously shot, the area of Savannah, Georgia has never looked so good, and Gottsagen is as funny and mischievous as you might expect.
For LaBeouf meanwhile, some may connect the dots and remember this was the movie he was arrested on set for public drunkenness charges, it’s a great ,understated position he takes, allowing Gottsagen, and others, to shine. I think this may be the best thing I’ve seen him in.
Join The Peanut Butter Falcon for the trip down river and you’ll have laughs and sadness along the way, and remember, rule number one, is party!