Oh my, oh my!
Have we been looking forward to 99 Homes or what? Starring Hollywood’s ”It Boy” Andrew Garfield, 99 Homes is a critically acclaimed thriller which has won the hearts of many critics due to it’s portrayal of societies ugly truth and the much loved slogan: Greed is the only game in town.
The movie is based on a fictional cutthroat Orlando real-estate broker evicting underwater and unemployed Central Florida families from their homes and then stripping out appliances and air-conditioning units in order to get Fannie Mae to pay for replacements.
Unemployed single father Dennis Nash, a construction worker, is evicted from the home he shares with his mother Lynn and son Connor, and they move into a shabby cramped apartment. Dennis goes to the office building of Rick Carver, the callous real estate operator who had police evict him, and tries to recover his tools stolen by Rick’s men. Rick sees the confrontation and is impressed by Dennis’ gumption. He offers Dennis work as a repairman at his properties and Dennis accepts. Dennis soon becomes an assistant in Rick’s eviction and other real estate schemes and starts making large amounts of money.
An evicted homeowner living at the same apartment complex as Dennis recognizes and threatens him. Dennis makes a deal with Rick to buy back his old house, but can’t move in immediately. He brings his mother and son to a luxurious house and informs them he bought it and sold their old house. His mother is shocked that he sold her long-time home and repulsed when she realizes he got his new-found wealth not as a construction worker for Rick, but by helping him victimize honest homeowners who have financial problems. Even his son is not happy with the arrangement. Lynn and Connor leave to stay with her brother.
Rick puts together a multi-million dollar real estate deal, but it is jeopardized by a legal case brought by a homeowner he is trying to evict. Dennis obeys Rick’s order to deliver a forged document to court that defeats the case. Dennis and the homeowner were once friendly, but the man became angry when he that learned Dennis was working for Rick. When police try to evict the homeowner, the distraught man fires a rifle at them. Realizing the man will likely be killed in a shootout, Dennis confesses aloud at the scene to his guilt in delivering the forgery. Dennis is arrested, but the well-connected Rick is not.
Because of its strong dialogue and persuasive acting, 99 Homes stays on point for quite some time, artfully disguising the film’s increasing reliance on plot devices. However, 99 Homes proves better at illuminating a problem than coming up with a convincing solution for its beleaguered characters. Even Shannon and Garfield can do only so much, though it is always involving to watch them try.