THE PEANUT BUT­TER FAL­CON

Empire (UK) - - REVIEW - BETH WEBB

OUT NOW (DOWNLOAD), 2 MARCH (DVD, BLU-RAY) CERT 12 / 98 MINS

Mark Twain meets early Taika Waititi in this river­side ad­ven­ture star­ring Shia Labeouf and new­comer Zack Gottsagen. The lat­ter plays Zak, a sweet-na­tured stow­away with Down’s syn­drome, tired of his reg­u­lated lifestyle and des­per­ate to forge a path of his own (as a pro­fes­sional wrestler). Af­ter find­ing him in the back of his boat dur­ing a hasty get­away, Labeouf’s loner Tyler re­luc­tantly re­cruits Zak on his jour­ney across North Carolina. The pair form a swift friend­ship, Labeouf’s easy play­ful­ness coax­ing out a cheek and charm in Gottsagen’s break­out per­for­mance. To watch the pair wrestle like bear cubs against the hazy lo­cal splen­dour is a joy, and at no stage does Labeouf pa­tro­n­ise or out-per­form Gottsagen. Co-star Dakota John­son shares less screen time but is lu­mi­nous, and True De­tec­tive cinematogr­apher Nigel Bluck cap­tures the brac­ingly hand­some sur­round­ing vis­tas at their best.

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