Movie Review - The Peanut Butter Falcon
Zack Gottsagen in his feature debut stars as Zak, a young man with Down Syndrome who was abandoned by his family and became a ward of the state, assigned to a retirement home for the elderly. Zak feels like a prisoner despite having befriended all of the residents and even all of the staff. However, he's crafted a plan to escape with the goal of going to a small town in North Carolina called Ayden. It's there he hopes to find a wrestling school run by his idol, a local wrestler named Salt-Water Redneck. Zak dreams of one day being a wrestler like him or in the WWE.
Shia LaBeouf (American Honey and Transformers) also stars as Tyler, a fisherman who works in the Outer Banks of North Carolina near a crab farm or some kind of fishery where other water-men do their jobs. He gets into trouble because he's started stealing crab pots from other fishermen, essentially stealing their income. Two of the fishermen, Duncan and Ratboy, beat him up for doing so. Later, Tyler destroys all their crab pots in what is either a fit of rage or an act of sheer stupidity. He then is forced to go on the run or else Duncan and Ratboy might kill him. He doesn't seem to have any other friends or any family.
Dakota Johnson (Bad Times at the El Royale and Fifty Shades of Grey) co-stars as Eleanor, a staff member at the retirement home where Zak was living. She's basically the social worker overseeing Zak. When Zak escapes the facility, she's tasked with finding him. She sets out to search the Outer Banks for him or try to track him to his wrestling school. She contrasts with Tyler in how she sees and has to treat Zak. Tyler is more a carpe diem kind of person and a person who bucks the rules. She's more a follower of the rules, but she seems sympathetic and compassionate to Zak's plight and open to changes and living more out of bounds.
Rated PG-13 for language, some violence and smoking.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 33 mins.