‘Buffaloed’ movie review: Zoey Deutch is a comedy powerhouse

The new comedy “Buffaloed” joins the hallowed list of films shot in Buffalo, NY: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “The First Purge” and “Sharknado 2.”

Unlike those, however, this one is truly set in the upstate home of hot wings — and it’s actually good.

Director Tanya Wexler’s movie features a supernova of a performance from Zoey Deutch, as Peg, a hyperactive, brusque woman who will resort to anything short of working street corners to make a buck.

After she gets accepted into an expensive Ivy League school, she winds up in the clink for selling counterfeit Bills tickets to pay tuition. But, when Peg’s released 40 months later, she still hasn’t learned her lesson: She goes to work for a seedy debt collector named Wizz (Jai Courtney), using illegal practices to bilk frightened people out of a lot of money. With her financial smarts and no-nonsense attitude, she becomes the top collector within days.

Zoey Deutch in
Zoey Deutch in “Buffaloed.”Magnolia Pictures

Thanks largely to the feisty Deutch, “Buffaloed” is a fun time, even if it’s about everybody’s least-favorite kind of phone call. There’s also some funny send-ups of Buffalo. During her court appearance, a fight breaks out after the judge asks the prosecutor “Anchor Bar or Duff’s?,” referring to the famous local hot-wing rivalry. He answers correctly — but the peeved defense attorney is a Duff’s fan.

Not all of “Buffaloed” works. As with most movies dealing in money matters, the plot becomes more convoluted as Peg gets in deeper and deeper. And, if you’re like me, whenever anybody explains the ins and outs of debt and loans, your eyes will glaze over.

But none of that matters when Deutch’s Peg really gets going. She’s as spicy as Buffalo sauce.

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