The movie “The Peanut Butter Falcon” is one of those movies where you know how it’ll end three minutes after it starts.
But still, there’s a lot of moving parts. The film is about Zak, a man with Down syndrome, who runs away from the care home to go to a wrestling school, meets up with a failed crabber — who’s also running away, from arson charges and probably being murdered — and goes on a fun and fantastic journey. Zak’s caretaker, Eleanor, chases after them the whole time. She seems very nice and charming but also shows no character development, so it doesn’t really matter. All that’s boring, but here’s some highlights:
First off, there is a preview for a comedy about a little Nazi child in Germany during the Holocaust with Hitler as his imaginary friend? And then he finds a Jewish girl hiding in his home and hijinks ensue? And he has a klutzy real-life friend with quirky horn rimmed glasses?
Then the movie starts and there’s Shia LaBeouf, fresh off his stint LARPing as a #Resistance woke performance artist, playing the pyromaniac crabber and punching a child in the face and also doing a fun accent.
There’s the rapper Yelawolf putting in a surprisingly decent turn as one of the angry rednecks who wants to kill Shia LaBeouf for burning their crabbing gear. Now, “My Box Chevy: Part 2” was kind of a bop, nobody is denying that. But to move from being an underground grimy backwoods rapper to an actor with a bit part in a critically acclaimed dramedy? It’s a come-up and we have to stan.
But it’s not all good with this movie. Peanut Butter Falcon? Is the film’s title a reference to the wrestling name Zak chooses to use, or is it something more?
Peanut butter, aside from being a delicious snack that’s fun for all ages, is notoriously oily. And oil is, possibly, the deadliest substance known to birds — including falcons, the beautiful winged predators of the sky.
Everyone’s seen the pictures after the oil spills, of seagulls and ducks coated in a black, sticky, smelly mess. It’s gross, of course, and smells bad, probably, but it’s much worse than that. Birds fly, you see, and they are able to fly due to a precise feather alignment and coating of their feathers, along with hollow bones and what some say is magic. So a coating of oil messes up that alignment, causing them to lose body heat, aerodynamics and natural buoyancy. An oiled-up bird will generally die from exhaustion, dehydration or starvation, not to mention the embarrassment of it all. Not good!
And that’s just crude oil. Peanut butter is much worse, maybe. It’s thicker, gooier, smells nicer — attracting predators — and is a weird brown color instead of a cool, sleek black. So covering a falcon with peanut butter is irresponsible, cruel and probably illegal, and suggesting it in the title of a major motion picture is very not woke.
Rating: One Carolina out of two. It would possibly receive more, as it really is kind of a charming movie, but we cannot ignore the problematic elements so it has to be punished.