Buffaloed (MA) - 95 minutes
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
The hustle is rich pickings for cinema and Zoey Deutch has made Buffaloed her own vehicle.
From an early age Peg is mesmerised by the thought of making it big.
Surrounded by debt and being brought up by her single, working class mum, Kathy (Judy Greer) – alongside her older brother JJ (Noah Reid) – Peg (played as an adult by Deutch) is the clever one in the family and has attitude to burn.
But riches can’t come quickly enough and a blatant case of forgery (tickets to a Buffalo Bills’ NFL game) sees her end up in the slammer for a stretch.
Having readily made her way through that and boning up on finances while inside, upon her release she receives a call from a debt collector.
That fortuitous conversation results in a significant career move.
Suddenly, Peg is the one making up stories to collect others’ debts and she has quite a knack for it.
The trouble is much of what she and her fellow sharks are doing isn’t legal.
Along the way she has picked up a boyfriend of sorts.
Ironically, Graham (Jermaine Fowler) is the guy who put her away in the first instance and his main interest is in landing the big fish that is Peg’s ruthless boss, Wizz (Jai Courtney), who he’s been trailing for some time.
But things are about to get a whole lot messier, after Peg walks out on Wizz and sets up on her own, triggering a turf war.
Deutch is a joyous bundle of pent up energy. She has moxie and sass and lights up the screen.
Around her, the secondary characters, too, play their parts well.
Courtney is suitably menacing and condescending as Wizz.
Greer is convincing as a mother who has endured her fair share and wishes her daughter could pursue a less risky path.
Fowler channels the dichotomy in his character – an upholder of the law with feelings for a woman he knows he can’t trust.
The script by Brian Sacca – who makes his feature film debut – tends towards the comedic rather than the dramatic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some more poignant moments.
Given the subject matter, some of what we see has less plausibility to it than other components.
Let’s just say you have to suspend belief somewhat to get the most out of Buffaloed.
Still, I appreciated the pacing and direction by Tanya Wexler (Hysteria).
The movie is available on iTunes, Google Play, Xbox, Amazon and other major digital platforms.
Rated MA, it scores a 7 out of 10.