Percy vs. Goliath spins a very modern tale—set in 1998, we follow committed farmer Percy (Christopher Walken) as he realizes GMO’s have forcibly inserted themselves into his crops. A lengthy legal battle brews as the big company fights for copyright to his crop variant, and Percy just wants to be compensated. Percy becomes a surprising voice for farmers everywhere too afraid to stand up and fight back. It’s a mildly inspirational courtroom yarn that takes far too long to get going, though it is elevated significantly by a stunning turn from seasoned vet Christopher Walken.
The legal side of this all, and the courtroom drama, just frankly isn’t that exciting. Nothing is done to spruce up any of these sequences or provide viewers with enticing reasons to continue. I fully realize this is based on a true story, but there isn’t enough here to keep things even remotely interesting. The dramatic highs and lows are barely noticeable considering the way things play out. It’s all too predictable. The only thing keeping this from cable-TV quality are the gorgeous landscapes and the strength of the acting.
I loved Christopher Walken’s performance—it runs the unique balancing act between old curmudgeon and determined whistleblower. Walken fills the role with ease, proving he’s capable of doing better work than recent movies might suggest (I’m looking at you, Wild Mountain Thyme.) The rest of the ensemble cast is perfectly fine, but this is Walken’s film to the core. It’s a shame everything around Waken’s singular role isn’t anywhere near as engaging.
Percy vs. Goliath comes to limited theaters and VOD/digital on Friday, April 30th.