Review: Force of nature Zoey Deutch seizes the day in cutting comedy ‘Buffaloed’

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Screaming an expletive and firing a gun into the air, Zoey Deutch immediately takes the audience hostage in the opening moments of “Buffaloed.” As the scrappy scammer Peg Dahl, the actress owns this sharp comedy — and everyone watching — playing the type of character we still don’t see that often on screen. Peg is a brash and bold young woman — unafraid of consequences for her actions — and the result is that we can’t help but root for her.

Fast-talking and even faster-thinking, Peg is desperate to escape her native Buffalo, N.Y., but her career prospects are slim after serving three years in prison for selling counterfeit tickets. When she receives a call from a debt collector and promptly teaches him how to do his job better, she thinks she may have finally found her calling in life.

Far too many years after making the mannered period sex comedy “Hysteria,” director Tanya Wexler helms this contemporary film that explodes with energy throughout its brief runtime. The script from costar Brian Sacca is a bit much at times — like Peg herself — while not doing enough to tell its story. But it’s hard to begrudge “Buffaloed” too much; this is a fast, fun watch that succeeds largely on the charms of its star and the able hands of its director.



Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Playing: Starts Friday, Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica; also on VOD