Release Date: Aug. 9, 2019
22-year-old Zak, a young and ambitious man with Down syndrome, runs away from an assisted living facility to pursue his dream in becoming a professional wrestler with the help of Tyler, a fisherman on the run. This is easily one of the most lighthearted and wholesome little films of the year. While it isn't too remarkable in its story, with some moments that are just too good to be true and a few others being kinda pointless in the long-run, at the core of it all is an honest and touching friendship. The three main characters are so likeable and well-rounded (though I can't say the same for the side characters), and their dynamic develops so well. It definitely helps that the performances are believable and enjoyable. Zach Gottsagen is just a pure delight, I couldn't help but smile every time he was on screen. He's very much the heart and soul of this film, delivering such a lively and spirited performance that sparks up the whole thing. Shia LaBeouf is amazing as well, playing a young man who's still trying to heal from a past tragedy. He never outright says what he's been through, because his performance says it all. He doesn't push it to the point where it feels overly sentimental; he does just enough to translate what his character is feeling. Even Dakota Johnson shines in a role that isn't terribly demanding, but still plays a big part in the whole story, as her own character also has a scar to bear. The chemistry between the three of them is so natural and instantaneous, making the journey an all-around joy to take part in. When it comes to craft, I actually like how the film captures the wet and swamp-like Southern landscapes, with some shots that are actually quite beautiful. And in that aspect, that's really all that stands out. But if there's anything meaningful that I got out of this, it's that it is completely aware of how people tend to treat those who are mentally handicapped. They're not supposed to be cooped up forever or overly sheltered. We should give them a chance to live life every now and then, we shouldn't be so condescending towards them. And how the film presents this will surely warm your heart.