Based on the true account of how McDonald’s became “the new American church” and how salesman-turned-investor Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) piggybacked on and ultimately hijacked a family business, The Founder is a decidedly mixed bag. It certainly isn’t a shameless promotional exercise for the ubiquitous fast-food brand – Robert Siegel’s script elegantly exposes the consumerist heart of the American Dream and gains extra resonance from current events, with talk of “winning” uncannily echoing Trump’s infantile rhetoric. However, the film undeniably drags, especially when Offerman and John Carroll Lynch aren’t on screen; their interplay as the sibling founders of McDonald’s is excellent and neatly complements Keaton’s supersized bastardry. But strong performances and some sharp writing aside, this origin story is ultimately a little bland and flavourless.
The Founder | Directed by John Lee Hancock (US 2016) with Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carrol Lynch. Starts April 20.
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