The Founder (2016)
PG-13 | 1h 55min | Biography, Drama, History | 20 January 2017
Post – Matt Mungle
Synopsis: The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers’ fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world.
Review: McDonald’s is probably one of the most iconic American institutions ever. If you miss one on your road trip just wait a few exits and you will have another opportunity. THE FOUNDER is an entertaining, informative, and at times frustrating look at the history of the fast food chain. But be aware that the story doesn’t clown around and Ronald never makes an appearance.
Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac McDonald (John Carroll Lynch) were two brothers who created an impressive way for drive-in food to arrive fresh and fast. Their small walk up restaurant was a popular attraction for local families. When salesman and go-getter Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) gets a taste of the business he makes it his mission to make it a national phenomena. His ideas and motivation do not set well with Dick or Mac but the rest is, as we well know, franchise history.
Keaton does a fantastic job with this role and gives us a character who you may get mad at but you can’t completely hate. Yes he may railroad the brothers in certain areas and his ethics are absolutely speculative. There is no doubt that Kroc was a self centered, glory hungry, business man. But at the end of the day, like it or not, he made the brothers a lot of money. Could he have done it differently? Probably. Facts are facts though and Keaton nails the role.
The early days of the restaurant are the most fun to see and watch. Before all the intense legal struggles start it is refreshing to learn how the brothers streamlined the process of fast food. They truly were brilliant in the engineering vision. The scene were Kroc walks up and gets his first McDonald’s meal is one of my favorite. Keaton plays it like a man who is in the twilight zone. Ray is a traveling salesman and has eaten at a lot of drive ins. But never has he experienced anything like this. You can tell he barely can wrap his mind around it.
The story moves nicely balancing humor, information, and entertainment well. Kroc is a riveting character and the history is intriguing. As mentioned McDonald’s has always been there for many of us and we can’t remember a time without it. Seldom do we think about how it all happened. Watching the story unfold may cause you to feel tad guilty about eating there. But only for a short time.
THE FOUNDER is rated PG-13 for brief strong language. It is totally safe for any teen and up. Granted the story and dialogue may not appeal to younger viewers. Bunch of old people talking about hamburgers. When does that get fun? But for us “old” movie goers it is a solid watch with great acting and a fantastic story. I give it 4 out of 5 to go bags. Supersize your popcorn and enjoy it.