The Peanut Butter Falcon centres around Zak (Zachary Gottsagen), a young man with Down’s Syndrome lives in a care home, but longs to be a wrestler. First, he must escape the clutches of his care home, and thanks to the help of fellow inmate Carl (Bruce Dern), he makes a break for it, much to the annoyance of care home worker Eleanor (Dakota Johnson).
Before long, his paths cross with fisherman Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), who has his own problems as he draws unfavourable attention from certain individuals, and what follows is a a very bizarre premise, as these two find an unlikely alliance, but it’s pretty engaging, and certainly another string to Shia’s bow, since after three Transformers films, he could easily have sucked on Hollywood’s satanic shilling, but has mostly spent his time making arty pet projects.
Along the way, Zak always puts himself down because of his condition, while Tyler helps him to see the bright side of life, but our hero likes peanut butter and wants his wrestling name to be The Falcon, hence the movie title.
There’s great direction, occasionally with two characters on extreme opposite sides of the screen, with the scenery inbetween, which looks gorgeous. Additionally, I wondered if co-director Tyler was a fisherman, hence the characater, but I can’t find anything online regarding that.
There’s also great banter between the two leads, and as they set off together on their accidental adventure…
- Tyler: “What’s rule No.1?”
Tyler: “No, not party. What’s rule No.1?”
Zak: “You’re in charge.”
In a former life, I’ve visited a number of care homes as part of a job I did at the time, and man, it was depressing. However, that’s not the case with this film, which is about wanting to be free and escaping the day-to-day drudgery of life, and going on an important journey in life, but a real journey and one of spirituality.
I know that sounds a bit syrupy sweet, but if the film is ever that at all, you don’t mind it, here.
If you enjoyed the film, then you’ll be pleased to know that it brings the gorgeous backdrops to life, and there’s a complementary soundtrack.
However, while there are subtitles in English, the major downside is that there are zero extras. There’s also just SIX chapters and the menu is static and silent, with a picture of the cast from the cover.
Running time: 97 minutes
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
Released: March 2nd 2020
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Widescreen: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K), Anamorphic Panavision)
Disc Format: BD25
Directors: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Producers: Albert Berger, Christopher Lemole, Lije Sarki, David Thies, Ron Yerxa, Tim Zajaros
Screenplay: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Music: Zachary Dawes, Noam Pikelny, Jonathan Sadoff, Gabe Witcher
Tyler: Shia LaBeouf
Zak: Zachary Gottsagen
Eleanor: Dakota Johnson
Rosemary: Ann Owens
Carl: Bruce Dern
Salt Water Redneck: Thomas Haden Church
Winkie: Rob Thomas
Mark: Jon Bernthal
Orderly: Tim Zajaros
Duncan: John Hawkes
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.