Runtime: 1hr 37m
Director: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zachary Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Jon Bernthal, Thomas Haden Church
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/80203525
We are quickly introduced to Zak (Zachary Gottsagen), young man with Down’s syndrome, with a passion for American Wrestling and a dislike of the nursing home environment he has been placed in for his care. Although clearly beloved by his fellow residents, Zak has no intention of staying with his much more elder roommates and continues to try and escape. His dream is to travel to a wrestling school, the home of his favourite wrestler who performs under the name of ‘The Salt Water Redneck’. After eventually escaping, he goes on the run and bumps into Tyler, a man with his own circumstances to escape from.
Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), is a down on his luck fisherman who has pissed off the wrong people. After stealing another man’s catch, he’s sacked from his job and then beaten by the people he stole from. As a last ditch attempt to regain some pride, he burns their nets and equipment and runs away to make a new life in Florida.
As their paths cross, Zak convinces Tyler that he needs his help and Tyler can’t help but help Zak get on the right track and find his way to the school.
While they both had reasons to escape, they also have people trying to catch up on them. Eventually catching them up is Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) who is the person responsible for Zak back at the nursing home. Intent on returning Zak home, she is convinced by Tyler and Zak to reluctantly accompany them on their trip on the proviso that once Zak has found The Salt Water Redneck he will willingly go back.
What follows is a road trip type movie where both Tyler and Eleanor who care for Zak, want to help him fulfil his dreams.
“The Peanut Butter Falcon” is full of heart and it’s clear that the cast had a great connection, but there were just a few too many things that didn’t sit with me right. Everybody played their role and it was great to see that they found Zachary Gottsagen, an actor with Down’s syndrome to play that part, but the story fell a bit flat. The story of two very different people who cross paths while trying to find their future while running from their past is fine, but the way it’s portrayed in the film just didn’t work for me. A guy who would happily screw over his boss and anybody else for a few bucks decides to help a guy out who will only slow him down. Not to mention they managed to shoehorn a romance into the movie between people who have only just met and then seem infatuated with each other.
I had high hopes for this film. I enjoy watching Shia LaBeouf, there’s a presence he brings to the screen and all the other cast did a great job, I just think it could have been better. Who knows, maybe I am being too harsh. Maybe I need to watch it again to appreciate the sentiment, or maybe I’m right? There is only one way to find out if I got this one right or wrong and that is to check it out yourself.
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