“Buffalo, New York. The epicentre of the rust belt. A city whose favorite meal is a discarded chicken part. A city hopelessly dedicated to a staple of disappointment.”


A The Big Short-lite that examines America’s debt collection industry through a fictional hustler in Buffalo, New York, Buffaloed adopts Adam McKay’s technique of explanatory asides from characters but lacks anything like the same depth. Zoey Deutch’s high-energy performance keeps the film moving though the script cannot keep pace. It opens strongly enough with Peg’s introduction as a precocious child with dreams of success that land her prison, before discovering the lucrative and predatory debt recovery business on her release. As her new career takes off, however, the film stumbles with throwaway characters and a contrived relationship between Peg and the prosecutor who originally put her away. Squandering its early credit, Buffaloed runs out of steam with little insight beyond the fact that purchasing debt is predatory.