The Peanut Butter Falcon – Film Review

The Peanut Butter Falcon tells the story of a young man by the name of Zak (Zack Gottsagen) has down syndrome but has dreams of becoming a pro-wrestler just like his hero Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church).

Zak decides to break out of the nursing home that he was living in to find to find the wrestling school that the Salt Water Redneck owns, but along the way he meets a fisherman Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) who is on the run after having a confrontation with some crabbers that he owes money to. The two soon form a strong bond and Tyler offers to assist Zak getting to the wrestling school. They do this by building a raft and as they sail, they start having some fun along the way.

While all of this is happening, Zak‘s carer Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) has been sent from the nursing home to bring Zak back. She catches up to the two boys and is appalled at the way that Zak is behaving with Tyler but she will soon see how much fun Zak is having and will join the two of them on the trip to the wrestling school as well.

Zack Gottsagen is a new actor that actually does have down syndrome, so his performance does come across as believable that he really does want to be a wrestler. Gottasagen also appears to have a genuine cheeky sense of humour that he is able to get away with on-screen. Zack Gottsagen and Shia LaBeouf have really great chemistry on-screen and are wonderful together as Zak and Tyler, and it shows in the film when Tyler is attempting to teach Zak how to swim and during the heart-warming scene where Tyler makes Zak a wrestling costume out of leaves. I also enjoyed Dakota Johnson in her portrayal as character Eleanor as she seemed to genuinely care and love Zak. Although the more responsible character out of the three, I personally enjoyed seeing the more of her fun side of Eleanor, when she is goofing around and having fun swimming with Zak and Tyler.

As a fan of pro-wrestling, I believe Thomas Haden Church‘s portrayal as Salt Water Redneck was very accurate as an over the top 80s wrestler who speaks in a loud voice and wears make-up like a lot of the 80s wrestlers did. If you are a wrestling fan, this film has two acting performances from two Hall of Fame wrestlers, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Mick Foley, which was a happy surprise.

The Peanut Butter Falcon is comedy-drama film that has a lot of heart and quirky humour and will make you laugh. It tells the story about three people that end up on life changing adventure thanks to one young man’s determination to do what it takes live out his dream, something that is so contagious to the point that his friends are willing to help him reach his goal.

The Peanut Butter Falcon will open in Australian Cinemas from the 30th of January.

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