Written by / 7/13/2017 / No comments / , , , ,

MICHAEL KEATON DEVELOPS MCDONALD'S AS THE FOUNDER

What 1970's Movie Is This From? Hint, a Boston tune plays YEAR: 2017
The problem with Hollywood-moralizing is it makes a theme or agenda override the characters, especially when based on real folks like, for instance, young Facebook phenom Mark Zuckerberg,  torn apart in THE SOCIAL NETWORK and now it's McDonald's mogul Ray Croc's turn under the hatchet — so this review will have to fight preachy with preachy....

Michael Keaton, an actor who can make anyone if not likable then completely realistic, is a blank slate here as THE FOUNDER, with its title bathed in irony (although Croc did find the restaurant, and its potential, as opposed to creating it). Keaton sleepwalks through the role, in slow motion... despite displaying a ghost of his usual wired b.s. artist, starting out as a lowly milkshake salesman traveling a nowhere road from greasy spoon to spoon — rejection after rejection. This is where his persona should have been grounded — when he had nothing and was hungry, anything would be possible... Instead it's just a flash of benign conversations and doors closing, which leads to the inevitable partnership with the McDonald brothers, whose small town burger joint invented the word Fast-Food as the movie drags from one scene to the next. Ray Croc is mostly shown from other people's reaction: Dumbfounded stares from his so-called business partners and wife (a witchy Laura Dern) lets us know how to feel about the guy who's climbing to the top...

This clown is scary and perverse... McMovieScore: *
There's potential when Croc takes the boys out to dinner during the first act with a montage through narration (voice-over-scene) of how McDonald's came to be. If this were the movie, it just might've had something... At the very least, a purpose and destination: Two meek fellas who only wanted to sell precooked food to their small town, not the world, as was Croc's ultimate goal: Served up just to set up the proverbial damsel in distress, screaming while tied to train tracks by the villain with a pointy mustache and knowing grin — hissed at by the audience because they're supposed to feel a certain way instead of figuring things out for themselves: Hollywood just can't tell a non-fiction story any longer... At least not with more than one dimension... So let's wait (and wait) for the biopic of how The Motion Picture Industry came to be: By those wonderfully endearing, sympathetic artists or the cutthroat millionaires who allowed them to flicker on the screen?
Proof that McDonalds is an evil tyrannical machine of death? Anyone who makes money is just plain bad

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