At Any Price Movie Reviews
User reviews on At Any Price
I think Zac Efron has a problem...and that problem is that he just can't seem to keep his shirt on! Seriously, what is with this guy? Yeah, we get it: you're cute, but you're also kind of a lousy actor and we're not gonna forget that just because you flash your six pack. Get a handle on an acting coach and we'll talk. He plays this super douchey, self-involved small time racer who wants to break into the big leagues but his dad (Dennis Quaid) wants him to inherit the family business (which is farming) and help him make boat loads of money by buying the neighboring farms and then turning them all into one giant farm. It's interesting in bits but mostly when Efron is not on screen. I got the feeling that the director was forced to put so much Efron in the movie because he's one who will probably get people to see the film, but that's hardly worthwhile when you want a GOOD movie. Sigh.
As someone who grew up in a farming community, I can tell you firsthand that everything that happens in this movie I have seen in my own real life. I remember many ex-farmers swooping into our family's backyard with their lawyers and goons, trying to intimidate us and get us to sell them our property so that they could turn a quick buck. It really makes my blood boil to see it continuing to this day and only growing more rampant as more and more people figure out how to take what families have worked for for generations and then turn it upside down just to make a profit. The movie is very good and I wish everyone would watch it, especially those who don't know anything about what the farming business is really like. Believe me, it's not just endless hours of corn harvesting and then shipping it off to the factory. It's a mean spirited, cutthroat business and makes Wall Street look positively angelic.
There’s much to admire and much to be shocked by in the new film At Any Price from director Ramin Bahrani. The movie is set in the American heartland where farms and gold-hearted farmers toil to feed the nation and reap whatever’s left for their own survival. That meme, it turns out, is utter garbage.
The American Heartland has become Wall Street, replete with vulture capitalists disguised as farmers who wish to swoop in and buy up all the farms they can, creating what are in essence ‘super’ farms and turning a profit that often reaches into the billions.
One such corporate harpy is Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) whose family has tilled the soil for generations. Whipple isn’t interested in living through another harvest. He wants to make money – lots of it. And so he sets out to buy as many of the farms in the area as he can. He wants to build an empire and pass it on to his sons, one of whom – Dean (Zac Efron) – is more interested in becoming a race care driver while the other one is off climbing mountains on other continents. His wife and mistress are content to just watch as it all unfolds – and then collapses.
At times, the story gets a bit melodramatic, especially when Efron is called upon to play the spoiled brat/superstar wannabe who doesn’t get his father and his ambitions. But Quaid carries the picture on his own, giving Whipple a hint of Willy Loman that makes him a memorable tragic figure. If it weren’t for the fact that everything is made to turn a profit these days, Whipple might be the real tragedy of this story.