BUFFALOED – A Fun and Witty Gem That Really Pays Off

What a terrible, awful, no good, very bad year 2020 has been. Without downplaying the tragedy of the virus, I must admit that there have been some positives from the global pandemic. Environmental pollution has reduced, we’re learning how to connect with people in new and vibrant ways, and I for one am LOVING working from home and avoiding the daily commute to the office. We’ve also seen the release of a few cracking indie films this year that may not have seen the light of day, were it not for COVID taking a hit on the cinematic release schedule’s dance-card.
From the looks of Kernel Ehab’s review, BUFFALOED is a prime example of the little indie that could. After reading Ehab’s review – I can’t wait to check it out!
– Kernel Claire

BUFFALOED runs for 95mins is rated M and is available to buy now from all major digital platforms from the legends at Signature Entertainment. Enjoy our review.

Phoney Deutch

BY EHAB RASHED

INITIAL THOUGHTS:

In the parlance of this movie, to get “BUFFALOED” is to be deceived, manipulated or cheated by someone. E.g. I got “BUFFALOED” at KFC when I ordered a 10 pack of original recipe and 6 of them were wings. (Thank you URBAN DICTIONARY). 

Convictey Deutch

SYNOPSIS:

Homegrown hustler Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch – ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP, THE DISASTER ARTIST) will do anything to escape Buffalo, New York. After getting into some trouble, she finds herself crippled by debt, and with her chances of a brighter future outside of her hometown squandered, she decides to become a debt collector herself and wages war with the city’s debt-collecting “kingpin”

Query Deutch

ZOEY DEUTCH IS A FORCE OF NATURE:

I was not at all familiar with the work of Ms Deutch. All I knew going in was that she’s the daughter of BACK TO THE FUTURE actress Lea Thompson and the resemblance is definitely there. She’s a frenetic ball of energy and the tightly written script gives her awesome stuff to work with. 
Ever since Peg was a kid her driving passion was to get rich and get out of Buffalo. A place made famous because of a discarded chicken part (these are the movie’s words not mine. I love you oh noble chicken wing (flats over drums) and nigh a day goes by when I don’t at least think of you and smile).  
Over the years leading into her twenties, peg was hell bent on making that coin. Peg equates money with happiness and her fast talking “sweet as pie” act has gotten her a long way. Unfortunately it’s all going in the wrong direction. 

IT’S A WORLD OF MAKESHIFT CAPITALISM:

“Tunnel visioned” is a nice way of describing Peg’s drive. Totally one track minded and without the ability to listen to advice or curtail her ways. Imagine standing at the bottom of Niagara Falls and telling it to go the other way. That’s the kind of whirlwind force we’re talking about.  Always able to justify in her mind that whatever scam she was running was for the greater good…..her greater good. She seems to set fire to everything she touches, but deep down we know that she has a heart. 
Born with a salesperson tongue, she quickly realises that she can put her God-given talents to debt collecting. A seedy world with no scruples and low IQ dimwits that Peg totally believes she can outsmart.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. It has a real indie feel but also a sense of gravitas. It’s a great snapshot at a somewhat calamatous side of debt collecting (helped along by a fun performance from Aussie Jai Courteney SUICIDE SQUAD, FELONY).  It’s a world cast with scammers and hustlers and paints a great picture at just how deceptive and downright disgusting the profession can be. 

Shouty Deutch

DOING SO MUCH WITH SO LITTLE:

The movie kind of feels like a beta version of WOLF OF WALL STREET mixed with the classic political satire ELECTION with Reece Witherspoon. The voice-over monologue coupled with creative editing and knock out performances really make this a fun watch.

Massive kudos to writer/actor Brian Sacca (WRECKED, KONG: SKULL ISLAND). I swear Sacca looks like chubby Gerard Butler with a mullet).
He peppers this tale of American capitalism with fantastic throwaway comedic gags and memorable characters keeping us entertained as the story unfolds. I love a lot of dialogue and if done well, it usually means I’m going to enjoy the movie. Here we have an ambitious, wordy ninety-five mins that never feels sluggish or cumbersome.  

Fun Fact. Sacca was also in WOLF OF WALL STREET as part of Leonardo Dicaprio’s “Sales Team” so it comes as no surprise that this movie has that frenetic feel. 

THE VOICE (OVER) OF REASON:

Of course the writing is served immensely well by the direction of Tanya Wexler (FINDING NORTH, HYSTERIA) Wexler has crafted a right ripper giving Deutch room to showcase her skills while at the same time keeping the action rolling in creative and entertaining ways.

A lot of critics out there tend to dismiss voice-over in movies. They see it as a cheat and makes for lazy movie making. (Editors note: can confirm. In general – I personally think its a bad choice) I on the other hand am the complete opposite. Some of my favourite movies utilise voice-over (GOODFELLAS, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) and I see it as just a tool for the storyteller. Wexler uses it extremely well in BUFFALOED and also incorporates other well known devices such as breaking the fourth wall and non-linear storytelling – all to great effect. 

Starey Deutch

WORTH YOUR TIME:

With the exception of a ho-hum romantic arc, BUFFALOED is a solid and impressive effort that will surely entertain. It also has a real warmth and beating heart amongst the wasteland of debt scamming. 
Peg’s mum, played by the awesome Judy Greer (ARCHER, ANT-MAN) is the soul of the film along with Peg’s sweet and loveable brother. There are genuine moments when I felt the ice melt from my arctic heart.
BUFFALOED has brought Zoey Deutch into my life and I have no problems with saying she’s locked me in as a new fan. I look forward to all and everything she’s got in the pipeline, and isn’t that the best praise an actor can get?  

KERNEL EHAB’S POP SCORE:

YOUR CRITIC:

Ehab Rashed is a part time freelancer and full time movie tragic and dog dad. If he’s not making his Netflix account overheat you can find him at the movies, a dog park, contemplating the life meaning in “The Big Lebowski”, photographing landscapes or working Tarantino quotes into everyday conversations. You can find him and his dog bumming around on insta @chubbz4lyf 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.