Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Dern, Patrick Wilson, Linda Cardellini, BJ Novak
Directed By: John Lee Hancock
Plot: A biopic about Ray Kroc (Keaton) the guy that took the McDonald’s franchise nationwide.
What Works: Keaton was good as Kroc, but I understand why he was ignored on the awards side. His performances in Birdman and Spotlight are far better than The Founder, mainly because he’s not really given much to do. His character is pretty flat, though he handles it well. Same could be said for the supporting cast. None of them are bad, but they all have ranges that barely fluctuate. I was interested in learning the story of McDonalds, but I feel like I could have had the same experience in a 30 minute YouTube video. The film did a good job with the set and costume design of recreating the period, and I suppose for families, this is a pretty family friendly film. It has one F-bomb, but there’s really no sex, no drugs, no violence… it’s pretty safe.
What Doesn’t Work: If this was all they could come up with and milk out of the story, I don’t think we needed a feature film on Ray Kroc. There’s not much here, and the film rambles on for two hours. It’s not that the film has pacing issues, persay, but nothing really exciting happens. It’s store bought white bread. Fine, I guess, if you just need some bread at the moment, but there are just so amny other options you could choose from. There wasn’t really any substance, or dynamic filmmaking or acting to make this film actually interesting. Really, this is only for hardcore McDonald’s buffs, and that’s about it.
Final Word: A rather unnecessary biopic that doesn’t do much for its subject or its cast. There’s a reason this film was just sent out to die in the doldrums of January, because the studio realized it didn’t have much to market. I’m honestly shocked this film has an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s not a bad film, but it’s certainly not a “certified fresh” worthy film either.
Final Grade: C+