Published On: Thu, Aug 22nd, 2019

‘Peanut Butter Falcon’ is an engaging 2019 Huck Finn story with a message on compassion

What makes Mark Twain so great is the timelessness of his writing and the new film, The Peanut Butter Falcon, is the latest reincarnations of one those great tales, in particularly, Huckleberry Finn.

Shia LaBeouf stars as a thief with newcomer Zack Gottsagen as Zak, a young man with Down syndrome who dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. Zak is ambitious and tenacious, obsessed with the vintage VHS videos of the Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church) and defies his most dedicated caregiver Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) to break out of an assisted living facility with the help/encouragement of his roommate, played by Bruce Dern.

LaBeouf’s Tyler meets up with Zak in a stolen boat as Tyler flees from his latest criminal antic and quickly mentors the young man. Set in the modern rural Deep South, the film features a soundtrack of country and indie rock, which lend a deeper connection to the pair as they bond and like out the Huck Finn journey, including a makeshift raft/boat.

Zak’s enthusiasm is infectious and unfiltered, keeping the laughs and emotional jerks coming as Johnson’s character tracks them to play out the commitment to get Zak to the retired wrestler.

Check out the trailer at the bottom.

Zack Gottsagen (left) and Shia LaBeouf embark on a life-changing journey in “The Peanut Butter Falcon”

The film finds solid footing in a clean, intense narrative built around relationships, kindness, compassion and finding integrity (paying for one’s transgressions). The growing attraction between Tyler and Eleanor plays out in a believable manner as Tyler’s nemesis, Duncan (John Hawkes), stalks the trio before the climatic wrestling scene, which gives the viewers a cheesy moment.

Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) and Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) in “The Peanut Butter Falcon”

The Peanut Butter Falcon works on every level, connecting unlikely characters on a life-changing journey which unlocks their inner strengths and propels them forward to become better people, loving and caring for others.

The film may be PG-13 but is never offensive, disgusting or profane, handling the language and drinking in a tasteful way in line with the film’s message and the character’s journey. Thomas Haden Church is again fantastic and warrants some extra attention as the Salt Water Redneck, either in merch or in shorts.

This small Indy film showcases the talent of LaBeouf in particular, who can’t escape his horrible role in the fourth Indiana Jones film and the silly portrayal in his Transformers films. He has serious talent for the dramatic role and this film unlocks a layer of that for audiences and it may be interesting to see if this can open doors for a serious role in a biopic or as a villain in something more mainstream.

The Peanut Butter Falcon earns 8 out of 10 stars, easily being among the best films of the year so far.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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