05th Jun2020

‘Buffaloed’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Zoey Deutch, Jai Courtney, Jermaine Fowler, Judy Greer, Noah Reid, Lusia Strus, Lorrie Odom, Raymond Ablack, Nicholas Carella, Paulyne Wei, James M. Connor, Jayne Eastwood, Kate Moyer | Written by Brian Sacca | Directed by Tanya Wexler

When an acceptance letter to the school of her dreams arrives, hustler Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch) falls into the shady business of delinquent debt collection to pay her tuition fees… First Peg tries selling counterfeit Buffalo Bills tickets – which quickly lands her in jail – before finding “work” with Wizz (Jai Courtney), Buffalo’s biggest conman who runs a debt collection agency. Peg soon realises she’s a natural at the job and breaks out on her own, setting up her own “agency”, which is when things go completely out of control and Peg ends up on the run from Wizz, her staff of debt collectors and the local prosecutor (Jermaine Fowler).

It’s official, Zoey Deutch is an actress than can do anything. She’s appeared in numerous different genres, from low-budget indie films, to big-budget Hollywood movies and even Netflix TV shows; and each and every time she delivers. Always. With Buffaloed she takes on the quirky indie crime comedy and, frankly, hits it out of the park with a performance that reminded me of Patrick Dempsey’s in Flypaper. And given that Flypaper is one of my all-time favourite crime/heist movies, that’s the biggest complement I can give.

Carried by a smart-ass voiceover from Deutch, Buffaloed is a fast-paced crime comedy that is packed with twists and turns; and surprisingly, for a film about the sleazy world of debt collecting – complete with strong-arm tactics, bucketloads of lies and shady characters – the film is a rather light and breezy affair; one which relies more on the charm of Deutch as the lead rather than giving the film a emotional real depth.

The film also relies on a myriad montages and voiceovers which gives Buffaloed a real 80s feel (apt given Deutch’s parents were involved with a number 80s classics). Though if this was an 80s comedy there would be more laugh out loud humour than here in Wexler’s film, which still has rather dark streak of comedy running through it – even with the light-hearted take Buffaloed has on a not-so-funny subject. Thankfully that streak of dark humour actually grounds the film somewhat, allowing for more believability to Peg’s story and the eventual realisation she comes to after everything falls apart.

A tale of a strong, feisty and confident woman just trying to find her way in the world, and out of the hole she’s dug herself into, Buffaloed is yet another fantastic film from Tanya Wexler (Hysteria) and one that is certain to be on heavy-rotation in my film future.

Buffaloed is out now on Digital from The Movie Partnership.


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