“The Founder” is directed by John Lee Hancock, who also directed films such as “The Blind Side” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” and stars Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, and John Carroll Lynch in a film about how McDonald’s came to be. You know, that fast food chain that people either go to for their Big Macs, their fries, their McNuggets, the McRib whenever it comes back to haunt everyone, or it can simply be called one of those places people visit just to use the bathroom on a very long road trip.
Before we begin this review, I want to start off by giving you guys my personal thoughts on McDonald’s. To me, McDonald’s is only good on various occasions, but for the most part, it sucks. It’s good if you want cheap food, it’s good if you want enjoyable fries (Burger King is my favorite fast-food wise BTW), it’s good if you want a rather enjoyable sundae, but that’s where all the goodness ends. With that being said, while I was hoping this would be a good movie, part of me was wondering if my personal thoughts on McDonald’s itself would get in the way at times. It did for multiple reasons, one of which affects my rating, and no, it has nothing to do with the so-called food.
The first character we’re gonna talk about is Ray Kroc, if you are aware of the history of McDonald’s, you are probably aware that this guy had the idea of McDonald’s expanding all over the world as a franchise. Michael Keaton gives a likable performance as Kroc, but after watching this movie, Kroc, to me, despite coming off as ambitious, sounded like a slight jackass. He had some interesting ideas throughout the film which were presented in intriguing ways, although one almost made feel like I was watching FOX News, AKA the Conservative Propaganda Network, but then again McDonald’s is an American institution and the main character from what I gathered mentions he is a Republican, so I guess can let that go. Despite that, this guy only made me hate McDonald’s slightly more, only because of what he did to get the business in full swing.
Nick Offerman (left) and John Carroll Lynch (right) play the McDonalds brothers in this film. Offerman plays Dick and Lynch plays Mac. Before Ray Kroc even gets involved in the business shown in this movie, these two came up with the idea. These two had good performances, and I don’t know about you, but there’s something about Nick Offerman’s voice that just sounds soothing. It’s almost like a white Morgan Freeman if you will. If there was anybody I was rooting for by the end of this movie, it’s these two, which I will get to later. But before we get to that, let’s talk about some more characters…
One character I want to dive into is Laura Dern’s character of Ethel Kroc, Ray’s wife. She’s displayed as this woman who happens to be somewhat lonely and kinda exhausted of Ray chasing one dream after another and just wants him to settle down. Honestly, Dern’s performance in this movie, was one of THE WORST performances I’ve ever seen in my life. She felt like a female version of Derek Zoolander and a robot if they got together and had a baby! Although that would actually be impossible because they’re not the same type of being, and robots don’t have organs! Still, I don’t give a crap, I stand by that comparison!
Another female character in this film is Joan Smith, played Linda Cardellini, who you may know as Lindsay Weir from “Freaks and Geeks.” Yes, she performed better than Larua’s character, so that’s a plus. Her character is shown in this movie to tell the story of how McDonald’s got its milkshakes. Well, sort of… A more accurate description would be how McDonald’s got its watershakes, because it’s not a milkshake. It’s the result of putting a flavored mix into water, to ultimately create something that tastes like a milkshake. This is nothing against the movie, but I’m just saying. There’s also one moment of the film, pretty much when she’s introduced, she’s playing a piano in a fancy restaurant. She comes to Ray’s table, has a chat, and ends up asking what his favorite song is, she ends up playing it, and then it suddenly turns into “La La Land” for a few seconds, IT DOESN’T WORK. If anyone has seen the movie and knows exactly what scene I’m talking about, let me know if that is what happened. I’m too lazy to look it up, I know, I sound like a bad critic, but you know what? McDonald’s is a lazy-ass excuse of a restaurant, so I may as well have the right be a lazy-ass excuse of a critic, right?
In the title of this review, I said there was gonna be spoilers. The following paragraph is gonna be dedicated to said spoilers. I mean, sure, this is all based on true events, but if you don’t know the events, the material shown will still be key information during the film. Read on if you want to, if not, don’t.
The original McDonald’s was established in California, by two recently mentioned characters, Dick and Mac. When Ray visits the original McDonald’s, he is bewildered, but suddenly, he comes to a realization that this may be a brilliant idea. So overtime, he becomes involved with the company, and decides to franchise it. Soon, it starts operating in the same way a real estate business operates. This causes Dick and Ray to lose the name of their business, not to mention the business itself. So in the end, it seems as if Ray stole their business. So, essentially, one of the world’s biggest fast food chains, was formed, by a guy, taking the idea of two brothers. You can argue he expanded on the idea, which I can say is a justifiable claim, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was stolen, much like everyone’s health they have before eating at one of these restaurants. So Ray Croc, to me, despite expanding on an idea, may be more like Ray C*ck. I don’t know what else there is to say except, it’s on the poster, but I still think this is a dick move in some ways.
In the end, “The Founder” is somewhat like McDonald’s itself. Likable in some ways, but an utter abomination in others. This film was at times, poorly acted, but also well acted, so the acting was ultimately above average. As far as the soundtrack goes it was pretty bad at times, and I can also say the same for the editing. The story itself is true, but as a story, I felt like it was bent in some ways, and the story in general, would be better if it were told in a documentary form. Since it was told in a movie, where Ray Croc was the main character, I ended up not rooting for him. Maybe a documentary format could have changed that, I don’t know. I’m gonna give “The Founder” a 5/10. Hope you all enjoyed this review, pretty soon I’m gonna have a review for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” a movie that ironically is not amazing whatsoever, but I’ll review it. This is gonna continue my series of “Spider-Man” related reviews leading up to “Spider-Man: Homecoming’s” release next month. Speaking of comic book based films, be sure to check out my review for “Wonder Woman,” it just came out a couple days ago, you can either find an icon leading to it at the end of this review, or you can find the review for it below this one. Stay tuned for more reviews, and also I want to know, what are your thoughts on McDonald’s? And what is your favorite fast food chain restaurant? Let me know in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!