• Strictly Films

The Peanut Butter Falcon Mud’s Younger Brother is a Knockout! Grade: B+

Source: IMDb

The Peanut Butter Falcon tells a tale of a Down Syndrome boy Zak (Zack Gottsagen), whom wants to become a wrestler. Unfortunately for Zak he’s stuck in a nursing home, rewatching the same Wrestling school video featuring wrestler Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Harden Church). Zak’s roommate Carl (Bruce Dern) helps him escape, as Zak is going to travel all the way to North Carolina to attend Salt Water Redneck’s Wrestling school, so he can become a wrestler just like his hero. Zak will not be alone on this journey, as he’ll be join by another man on the run Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) whom has a troubled past and present. I thought The Cinematography and Score were both good, truly captures the nature of the dirty south and has some lovely composed music. The cast as a whole was pretty good, entertained by just about everyone in this film. Zack Gottsagen plays a great performance as Zak, a great well developed character to cheer on. All Zak wants to do is achieve his dream in becoming a wrestler and to meet his hero, as we all can relate to a time where we wanted to do both. Unfortunately Zak is caged up in this nursing home, preventing him from socializing with society and achieving his dream. So we root on this character not because we feel sympathy he has Down syndrome, we root him on because we would love anyone in this situation to be out in the real world to achieve a dream. So I’m happy the film didn’t make us root him on due to having sympathy for him, as we root him on because he’s a nice kid whom wants to be more than a patient at a nursing home. Tyler played by Shia LeBeouf played a pretty good performance. I really enjoyed this character, though he’s troubled he’s a good man. I loved the scene where Zak tells Tyler the people over at the nursing home calls him the R word and feels he’s the bad guy, due to having Down syndrome. The way Tyler clarifies that Zak is special and confronts him that’s he’s perfectly ok being different, as being different sometimes is better was beautifully touching. You can argue this film could’ve given us more with Tyler, but I felt the small sprinkles of flash backs worked well to know everything we needed to know about Tyler. Dakota Johnson playing the caretaker for Zak was good, it’s a simple cute performance from her. I did enjoy Thomas Harden Church in that entire third act... He was a blast, you can totally tell he had a fun time playing that role. There are a couple issues to talk about. I can’t help the fact this nursing home’s lack of security cameras. I mean there should be cameras outside the facility just incase this situation happens or intruders come, felt unbelievable to me. I feel like people are going hate me for this flaw... But in the end of the film, I can’t help but not like the conclusion of a wrestling match. The entire film has been a realistically told film, it hasn’t been shown as an over the top goofy film, Blinded by the Light is a good example. So when this moment happens, I can’t help to think it doesn’t work well for me. First of all it’s unrealistically possible for this wrestler to achieve this move, given the fact the entire match is not staged. Lastly the way the match concludes looked like the easy way out. They could’ve been a little more creative in how this match ends, like I have a few good ideas how it could’ve ended. Listen if you liked it: No shame I understand it’s a funny moment, for me the tone of this entire film... I would of liked it played differently. Anybody remember 2013’s Mud?! This felt like it’s younger brother, I flat out enjoyed this film. I liked how the story was not only original, but designed to be a feel good crowd pleaser with a lovely message. How we should strive to treat those normal that are different... Because they are just like us, only act a little different. Tyler the entire time treated Zak like he was just like anybody else, didn’t give him no special treatment or talked differently where one would talk to someone whom has special needs. It just felt comforting to me, as one whom has special needs I absolutely HATE being treated differently and even poorly cause I’m different. Hopefully this film will shine a light towards others, lovely job indeed. The film was a fun adventure, you never feel bored as you feel like you’re on a log ride with the characters. The film’s comedy material was absolutely great, I laughed out loud many times, lots of funny moments in this film you’re in for a treat. You can say I admire and respect representation, as they casted one with this condition. Listen if you’re an actor, whom doesn’t have this condition and is trying to portray a role with a character in this description: You’re fine. Seriously people can be complete weirdos about this stuff, long as you put on a great performance and showing effort without it looking like you’re making fun of them, I don’t see a reason to complain... Seriously to those that get outraged, calm down. But it is refreshing to see one get an opportunity like Zack, who does have this condition display his talents on the big screen, as he does deliver. Hopefully it’ll bring more opportunity with those whom have special needs working in Hollywood, it’s lovely to see progress indeed. I also enjoy how the ending of this film made us want more. Majority of the audience were so sad it ended, so if you’re creating a film and people are bummed it just ended as they want more... You’re doing something right. Great story, great characters, great sense of humor, heart warming moments including that unexpected car scene... Lots to love about this film. Overall, Peanut Butter Falcon is a great film. I highly recommend checking this film out, definitely worth price of admission indeed! Well done Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, well done indeed boys. -Mitch Smietana

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