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Peanut Butter Falcon

Zak is a man with Downs syndrome who is trapped in a retirement home and who dreams of attending wrestling school with his WWF idol, the Salt Water Redneck. One night, Zak escapes, and lands on a boat owned by rugged and rough-edged crab-pot stealing Tyler (Shia LeBeouf), who finds himself on the lam after a particularly nasty run-in with local fisherman. Begrudgingly, Tyler decides to embark with Zak on a road trip to Florida to the wrestling school and to avoid the fishermen who set out to find him. I love this film. It is incredibly quirky and well-acted. Shia LeBeouf, who plays very interesting roles, is at the top of his game here; I think it is one of his best performances. Dakota Johnson is also great as the nurse who sets off to find Zak after he disappears. The pacing of the film is great, and I loved how the different stories seamlessly intertwine and converge. The chemistry between Zak and Tyler is wonderful, and it is wonderful to watch the bond that develops between the two of them. True, you have to suspend disbelief in some places, but treat it as a fable that rises above the reality; the adventure is fun to watch and the story heartwarming. Big thumbs up from me for a Mark Twain-like story that has been explored in other films. It may not be as great as a film like Mud (2013), but it is still wonderfully entertaining and heartfelt. (2019; 4 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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