AT ANY PRICE: REVIEW – At Any Price might as well have been called Something Something Something. And yet despite titular blandness, the Zac Efron drama is an unusual but old fashioned melodrama.
The Efron continues his flight from High School Musical playing Dean Whipple, the young race car driver son of Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid), a seeds salesman and farmer and hail fellow well met Lothario with a bad back.
Whipple is in the midst of a crisis, as the agri-corporation company he works for bears down on him for some dodgy deal he’s pulled and his extramarital seed distribution also looks to threaten his family. Ramin Bahrani’s film weirdly ditches its car racing sub plot halfway through – which looked to be giving the film its manly dynamism – to concentrate more on Quaid’s woes and their failing relationship. It makes the film as broken backed as poor Henry, but that’s better than it descending into the usual formulaic story of fast cars and success as an escape route. This gritty little drama is light years away from the justly pissed on The Paperboy (Click HERE for that review), and though it isn’t going to set off a lot of fireworks, there’s some quality and thoughtfulness here well worthy of attention.