The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
Zak runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak (22), a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler (32), a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak's unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (28), a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey.
Without a biological family anymore, young adult Zak, with Down Syndrome, is housed against his own wishes in the only facility in the state open to him, the Britthayven Retirement Home in Richmond, Virginia, where his primary caregiver is a young, caring woman named Eleanor. On his third attempt with help from some of the elderly but nonetheless wily residents, Zak, who continually watches an old VHS tape of his favorite professional wrestler Salt Water Redneck, is able to escape from the home in his pursuit of traveling to Ayden, North Carolina to attend Salt Water's wrestling school he's seen advertised on that tape, his goal to become a pro wrestler. This dream is stronger with the many taunts over the course of his life that he would never achieve anything for being "retarded". Along the way, he encounters a young man named Tyler, who too is running away. Since the death of his older brother Mark, Tyler, who works for a boat shop in one of the river estuaries of the area, has lost his way, and has resorted to poaching blue crab traps to earn extra pocket money. In the process, he purposefully burns bridges with many working in the fishing or boating business in the area as he tries to get away to start life anew in Jupiter, Florida. Initially not wanting to have anything to do with Zak in dealing with his own flight, Tyler has a change of heart in finding that Zak is a fellow "outlaw", Tyler who vows to help Zak get to Ayden on his own way to Jupiter. The bond that forms between the two may give the other a different perspective on life, and may be broken by circumstances, including if their pursuers find them, Zak's being Eleanor, and Tyler's being two other fishers, Duncan and Ratboy, who will resort to violence to get their vigilante justice on Tyler if need be.
- Zak, a 22-year-old man with Down Syndrome, escapes from a state-run care facility with the help of his elderly roommate, to train as a professional wrestler under the tutelage of his hero, the Saltwater Redneck. Meanwhile Tyler, a man fired for bringing in illegal crab catches, decides to burn the gear of his rivals, and goes on the lam himself. While on the run, Zak and Tyler meet, and embark on a journey to the Saltwater Redneck's wrestling school in North Carolina. Zak's caretaker at the nursing home, Eleanor, embarks on her own journey to find Zak, and return him safely to the facility.
Zak and Tyler become friends as they travel. Tyler teaches Zak various life skills, including how to use a gun, and eventually takes on the role of his coach, getting him in shape for his wrestling endeavors. They eventually build a boat and begin traveling by water. Eleanor soon finds them, but after learning her boss intends to send Zak to a more severe form of confinement, joins them to travel south.
One night, two men pursuing Tyler catch up with the trio, and Zak defends them with the gun. When they reach North Carolina, Tyler learns Clint (the Saltwater Redneck) has retired and closed the school, but convinces him to resurrect his alter ego for Zak. Saltwater trains Zak as a wrestler, and quickly puts Zak on a local fight card, which he believes he has rigged for Zak's safety and success. However, when the fight happens, Zak's opponent does not hold back, and proceeds to beat him. As Tyler attempts to intervene, the two men arrive, and one man hits Tyler on the head, knocking him unconscious. Zak, in a feat of extraordinary strength, manages to lift his opponent overhead, and throw him forcefully out of the ring, something Saltwater had told him was impossible. The film ends with Tyler healing from the injury as they drive towards Florida, implying the start of a new life.