THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON – A Review by Hollywood Hernandez
The Peanut Butter Falcon is a heartwarming tale about a 20-something-year-old young man with Down syndrome. He lives in a nursing home because there is nowhere else to place the young orphan. Bruce Dern plays the young man’s roommate and he’s sympathetic to the plight of young Zak who spends the entire day watching the same wrestling videotape over and over. Zak is played by first-time actor, Zack Gottsagen, who is hilarious in his role as a young man who wants to be a wrestler.
Zak goes on a wrestling adventure in an outrageous scene where Dern strips him down to his underwear and oils him up enough to squeeze between the bars of a window. Zak is then fleeing his caregivers when he runs into a character, Tyler, a small-time hood who steals whatever he needs to survive, portrayed by Shia LaBeouf. The chemistry between the two actors is almost magical.
The problem in the movie is that everyone, from small-time hoods to men who crab for a living, is out after Tyler. So while the two men are on a Huck Finn type of adventure they are both on the run. Zak from the authorities who want to bring him back home and Tyler who is on the run from some hoodlums who want to do him harm.
Along the way, the two men are baptized and a blind preacher gives the two men all of the supplies they need to build a boat. Zak’s caregiver catches up with the two men. Eleanor, the nursing home worker, is played by Dakota Johnson (who is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith). The three people become a family and enjoy the journey they are on as well as each other’s company. It’s a great adventure and Gottsagen plays a very inspiring character.
On the road, the three actually find the wrestler in the videotape, The Salt Water Redneck, who’s played by Thomas Haden Church and The Peanut Butter Falcon actually gets to fulfill his dream and wrestle in a real match.
This movie will make you laugh and cry but mainly it will inspire you with the fine acting of Zack Gottsagen. The Peanut Butter Falcon is rated PG-13 and has a run time of 1 hour and 33 minutes. On my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale” this movie rates a JUMBO.