Release Date: August 9, 2019
Shia LaBeouf is finally back in our lives after an absence of three years, when he starred in American Honey, which was critically acclaimed but seen by few. The Peanut Butter Falcon, also starring Dakota Johnson and Zack Gottsagen, seems destined to be another indie classic as directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz worked together to create a comedic adventure and the sweetest movie of 2019.
Nilson a North Carolina native, who eventually fled for L.A. in hopes of making films, is back to his roots in The Peanut Butter Falcon. Throughout the movie (which takes place in North Carolina) there is something that feels authentic. Something that only a native of the state like Nilson could achieve. Schwartz, is better know for making short films such as Off the Mat, Into the World: India. The pair also teamed up in 2014 to direct the short film Alex Honnold’s Urban Ascents.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is a story about friendship, acceptance and following your dreams. LaBeouf stars as Tyler, a down on his luck outlaw fisherman with somewhat of a troubled past. Gottsagen is Zak, a 22-year-old with Down syndrome who runs away from his nursing home to pursue his dreams of becoming a pro wrestler. While on the run Zak wonders into Tyler. The two then travel for miles in pursuit of a wrestling school Zak has dreamed of attending.
Gottsagen and LaBeouf show us what friendship can be. Throughout the film we see Tyler take on an older brother role to Zak. Tyler doesn’t only provide, but he also teaches Zak life lessons. The friends are scene chugging whiskey, having talks about life and even practicing push-ups together. The bond on screen that LaBeouf and Gottsagen display is raw and authentic. It is the type of bond that allows a movie like this work.
The Peanut Butter Falcon has a similar feel to 2016’s Hunt for the Wilder People. Which was another comedy adventure film. The main difference between the two indie hits is that Hunt for the Wilder People is funnier. It is a movie that clearly relies on it’s humor more than its message. Peanut Butter Falcon on the other hand does the exact opposite. Even though Shia and company is funny in their own right, that isn’t what makes this film successful. The belief that anything is possible, and the feeling of a bond being built is what makes the movie so great. And Shia LaBeouf’s return so beautiful.
The former Disney Channel wonder boy, has another movie, Honey Boy, out this fall. It’s a movie LaBeouf stars in, wrote, and directed. It will be fascinating to see if will it be as flawless as The Peanut Butter Falcon. One thing is for sure…. Shia is BACK!