Review by Dan Skip Allen
One of the things I love about film is you get to see stories brought to the screen that, without movies, would never see the light of day, such as Percy vs Goliath. These slice-of-life stories are what makes movies great.
Percy Schmeiser (Christopher Walken) is a third-generation farmer. He gets sued by a big company because he inadvertently used their seed to grow his crop. With the help of a lawyer, Jackson Weaver (Zack Braff), he brings his case to the Supreme Court. He also has help from environmentalist Rebecca Salcau (Chistina Ricci), who is trying to help with Percy's defense fund.
This story is a little confusing because of all the farming jargon, seed mumbo jumbo, and all the laws involving this. At the core of this film, though, is a little guy who's fighting a big guy as the title suggests. Percy vs Goliath is an apt title of the film. These types of stories can be inspiring and informative. They represent the everyday average person, in this case, farmers in Saskatchewan, Canada.
With big court cases comes intimidation and threats. These big corporations use these tactics to divide communities and make those they deem at fault look bad. This is why these stories matter so much. The little guys are always defeated by the big corporations. Fighting back is all Percy and his family can do. The sympathetic angle is always a good one to go with within these films. Pulling on the heartstrings of the viewers is a way to make your film more effective. It helps get the message across of the story.
David versus Goliath stories represent us all as citizens. The cast gets this story across very well, especially Christopher Walken. He has a sympathetic angle to his performance. He also had his moments where he shows why he's one of the greatest actors of his generation. He chose wisely in picking the role of Percy Schmeiser, a farmer from Canada. He gets the message across of his plight very vividly.
This film has some twists and turns in it which makes it very unpredictable. It isn't a straightforward David vs Goliath story, a courtroom drama, or a slice-of-life story. It's all of them in one. The film changes pace and goes to India and this might be some of the best parts of the film. Watching Percy's journey of discovery is so important for the overall message of the film. That is you can't let these big companies impose their will on so many little people in so many of these countries.
Clark Johnson is primarily known as an actor in his career. He's been an actor for decades in shows such as Evil on CBS, Bosch on Amazon, and Homeland on Showtime. He also has a strong directorial career including episodes of such shows as City on a Hill and Your Honor on Showtime, Snowfall on FX, and The Purge on the USA network. He has worked for shows on Netflix and Starz as well. This is a big step for him to direct a full-length feature film. He does an admirable job.
At the end of the day, the title says it all in this film. Percy vs Goliath is the crux of what this film is all about. It has a great message that everybody can get behind. It has a very good cast anchored by Walken, an Oscar winner for his role in The Deer Hunter. The message of never giving up has been in films for decades and should continue to be in films for decades to come. It a very inspiring way to tell stories on big and little screens alike.
Percy vs Goliath hits theaters and VOD on April 30.