Who knew there was so much intrigue in the seed business? “At Any Price,” the new film starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron as father and son, features infidelity, shady dealings and even murder, all set against a bucolic Iowa background.
Henry Whipple (Quaid) is a second-generation farmer and seed salesman. His father built up the land and the business, and now Henry is trying to take it into the next level by buying more land and selling genetically modified seeds. His youngest son Dean (Efron) is more interested in racing cars than growing corn, but when the family business is threatened the clan reluctantly pulls together despite their personal differences and a dark secret.
As the title suggests, this is a story about the price of winning at any cost. To drive the point home director Ramin Bahrani clutters the story with unnecessary story shards that don’t add much to the movie except for length. At just an hour and forty-five minutes it still feels long, as though the core idea—a powerful tale of fathers and sons and the pressure to succeed—is stretched to fill the time, rather than serving the story.
Quaid and Efron rise above the contrived story elements to hand in good, if sometimes melodramatic, performances and it’s so full of atmosphere you can almost taste the corn—it’s just too bad that the corny stuff in this movie isn’t limited to the fields
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