The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Founder




Title: The Founder
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr & 55min

The Subliminal Messing Worked and I Definitely Didn’t go to McDonald's Afterwards.

Opening:

From the awards season chatter to my obesity filled childhood, there was a lot to look forward to with this movie. The McDonald's story done like The Social Network style, count me in! I got that, kind of, but this movie is more dividing on a moral stand point and what the actual message is. Let’s get reel and break this down.

Plot:
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.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

Director John Lee Hancock does create a story that was naturally intriguing from the start given the history behind this company. The American dream is in full force and really does question what is moral when it comes to the business world and surviving in it. The authenticity of the 50’s and 60’s aesthetically was well done and he really puts you back in that time. Hancock always creates solid looking biopics. This is also a negative.

Cons:
Hancock also has this tendency to create glossy, “Hollywood” looking movies (which actually worked in Saving Mr. Banks) and with this story of betrayal and some unlikable people I wish there was a bit more emotional punch and depth to the story. Speaking of unlikable people, Keaton plays Ray Kroc and we are supposed to follow him. He has very questionable business ethics and morals throughout and provides a negative message towards the end. Just note, there was a bit of character arc and development but it was a little too late. Kroc isn’t the only terrible person. Besides the actual McDonald's brothers, everyone is unlikable and extremely scummy. The weird thing is you really can’t fault the movie itself because it’s based on real people and personalities; but you sit there with a confused look on your face as to why this movie was made and what was ultimately the point. Other characters also are one-dimensional, under-developed, and don’t have much to do i.e. Laura Dern’s character.

Acting

Pros:

Despite the character himself, Michael Keaton is wonderful and really sells the likability at the beginning and venomous distaste for him at the end. He had a slight charm that made him interesting to watch. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch, may have been a bit gullible as the McDonald brothers, but had a balanced back and forth with one being against Kroc and greed and the other pushing to make his brother’s dream come true.

Cons:
Honestly, everyone else was ok at best given their character and screen time. The chemistry between Laura Dern and Keaton was non-existent …but when you see the movie maybe that was the point?

Cinematography

Pros:
The colors pop, the style from the clothes and cars have that flair and accuracy, and it’s pleasant to look at.

Cons:
The actual camera angles, movements, and overall visual creativity are a bit flat.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros:

Running at two hours, I was fascinated by the absurdity that Kroc got away with and kept my interest throughout.

Cons:
The awful actions of the characters and mean-spirited nature can turn off some people and feel like a chore to get through.

Overall:

Believe it or not, with all my cons, I would still recommend this and even say it’s a solid movie. I wish it would have reached the emotional level and punch of a The Social Network and The Wolf of Wall Street given the story and how it shows the bad side of human behavior, greed, and competition within the business world. Michael Keaton is definitely the selling point for anyone to see this movie…because you know…Michael is a boss.

Grade: B-
Review by Chase Lee






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