‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’: a wholesome adventure.


Jacob Rengstorf

One of my most anticipated films of the year was The Peanut Butter Falcon and I’m happy to say it exceeded my expectations. I was expecting a little fun movie and a sort of small comeback for Shia LaBeouf. I’m happy to say that The Peanut Butter Falcon was one of the most wholesome experiences I’ve ever had in a theater. I had a smile on my face for nearly the entire time. This film is directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, and stars Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, and Zack Gottsagen. 

The plot of the film is pretty basic, it’s a basic road trip movie but this works to the movie’s advantage. With a simple plot the movie doesn’t focus on it that much and chooses to instead focus on the character’s relationships and the actors’ chemistry. The characters and their relationships are definitely the highlight of the film. They all feel so real and are so enjoyable to watch. The production design was downright beautiful at times. The swamps and rivers of North Carolina make surprisingly beautiful backdrops. The cinematography is not crazily noticeable but the film looks great and there are some beautiful shots in the film. There are also some great uses of drone shots, making this small film feel like it has a huge scale at times. The music wasn’t really noticeable but it fits the film wonderfully and matches the redneck feel of the film.   

As I said earlier the best part of the film is definitely the performances and the chemistry of the actors. Shia LeBeouf gives a wonderful performance and plays a very likable character. Dakota Johnson doesn’t give out an amazing performance but is still good in the movie. Bruce Dern gives out a hilarious performance for the small screen time he has in the movie. But by far the most standout performance is Zack Gottsagen. Zack Gottsagen suffers from Down Syndrome like his character in the movie but this does not stop him from giving out a great and funny performance. He is the heart and soul of this film and he is by far the most likable character in the film. He is hilarious especially in his scenes with Shia LeBeouf. This film has a great message of not treating people differently because of things they don’t have control over. Shia LeBeouf’s character and Zack Gottsagen’s character bond over this film and feel like brothers by the end. 

This film has very few cons. One of the things in the film that bothered me were the villains of the film. Shia LaBeouf’s character has two fishermen trying to catch him during the film and they are as generic as it gets and aren’t really given anything to do. There are some effect shots that look a little weird but it didn’t really bother me. The ending was a little weird, it kind of ended abruptly. None of these problems ruined my experience thankfully. 

The Peanut Butter Falcon is one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve had in a theater all year. This movie is just so good spirited and has a great message. Shia LaBeouf gives one of the best performances of his career and proves how great of an actor he can be. Zack Gottsagen gives a great and hilarious performance. Even though he has down syndrome he doesn’t let that stop him from giving a great performance. It’s shot with care and looks great. Sure the villains are kind of generic and some effects look a little weird but this is still a great film. All in all The Peanut Butter Falcon is one of the best films of the year and one of the most wholesome movies I’ve ever seen.