The Valero Verdict: Peanut Butter Falcon

Welcome to another edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.

On the docket today: Peanut Butter Falcon

  • Plot: After running away from a residential nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler, a man who has Down syndrome befriends an outlaw who becomes his coach and ally.
  • Writing/Directing: Tyler Nilson/Michael Schwartz

    The story is every bit as heart warming as it is inspirational. They wrote a perfect buddy comedy/adventure film. The way they were able to fall in love with not just Gottsagen’s character but the story they told through Tyler was masterful.

    My only bone to pick with the writing is the flashback stuff, I wasn’t sure I really needed it. I got why they added it but I feel like it was a waste of scenes pierced throughout the film.
  • Acting: Shia LaBeouf – Zack Gottsagen – Dakota Johnson

    First I’ll talk about the pairing of Gottsagen and LaBeouf, you won’t find a better and more heartfelt pairing this year. These two had raw chemistry together that never once felt forced or un-natural.

    Gottsagen: This was an unbelievable coming out party for this kid. He was charming, funny, witty and all around a joy to watch on the screen. What he is able to bring to the table in a movie is rare, he’s a presence that is just real and not forced.

    LaBeouf: He was on a tear for a little while and of course we all know what happened, but this movie to me, revitalized LaBeouf and you can see the course of change within not just his character but himself in this film. (I highly recommend reading this amazing article that kind of touches on why you can see the difference within this film. LaBeouf is one of the better actors when he is on and in this he is on.

    Johnson: When I saw the trailer, I wasn’t sure we would see much of her in the film but I was wrong. She inserts herself into this film with grace and throughout the film she makes her presence known and in all the good ways. She was a great 3rd addition to these two and I loved how they came together within that Third Act.
  • Favorite Scene: Several stand out but one that hit me right in the feels and still does thinking about it. They just get the big fishing square thing (not a fisher), and they start traveling in the water with it and Zak reaches his hand around Tyler and comforts him, it’s such a raw and powerful moment.
  • Enjoyment: You will not watch a more heart-warming feel good movie all year. You will cry your eyes out but such a powerful story.

The Verdict:

**** 1/2 out of ***** gavels

This film was rather close to getting the perfect score from me, it was just missing something. I really can’t pin point it to be exact, part of it was the throwback scenes and the story with Labeouf and his brother, had no real depth to it.

But outside of that, this film was beautiful, from the story behind Gottsagen and watching him in this role, the duo of LaBeouf/Gottasagen made for an amazing joyride that you didn’t want to stop. Well written, beautifully shot and a great story, not much else you can ask from a movie.

Should You See it?: Absolutley, this is one of those movies that will play for years. LaBeouf/Gottsagen combination is truly fun to watch. We all need that one person that makes us better in life.

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