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Flash Movie Review: At Any Price

Having one’s family name as a company moniker must be a heady experience. There must be a sense of pride and dedication to maintain a good reputation for the family name. Future generations, I believe, would be groomed to uphold the standards that were set before them. At least that is what I thought; but found out it was not the case when I was employed at family businesses. I found the offspring of the owners to be spoiled brats, without a sense of decency. They had a sense of entitlement, treating their company as their own personal kingdom; or even worse, as their own individual bank account. As I watched Zac Efron (The Lucky One, The Paperboy) play Dean Whipple in this drama, I was getting a similar impression. The difference was Dean had no interest in following in his father Henry’s, played by Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point, The Words), footsteps. But then again could you blame him? He was his father’s second choice. The story revolved around the choices and results members of the Whipple family made in the name of their family business. I did not find the characters likable with the exception of the mother Irene, played by Kim Dickens (The Blind Spot, Hollow Man). Her strong understated performance felt the most real to me. Zac did not bring anything new to his acting which consisted mostly of blank stares from his unusually bright eyes. I found the way light reflected off of his eyes to be a distraction. There never was a time where I believed in his character. The poor script allowed disjointed scenes of melodrama that did not help to move the story forward. One of the big, momentous scenes used to change the story was a cheap ploy; I disliked it immensely. There was a simple pureness to the way the movie was filmed. If the writers would have added more intensity to their story, it would have made an interesting juxtaposition between the emotional turmoil and the pristine landscapes. Instead we were stuck with a movie that was as exciting as watching grass grow.


1 3/4 stars

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