Review in Brief: The Founder (2016)

THE FOUNDER could have easily been a shrine for brand worship, and this story of the birth of McDonald’s must have been signed off by the fast food franchise. The filmmakers largely avoid this by making a very clear (romanticised if not entirely inaccurate) distinction between the principles Dick and Mac McDonald founded their modest company on and what Ray Croc turned it in to. We are under no illusions that Croc (Michael Keaton, tanned and appropriately reptilian) would throw his own mother into the frier if a buck was in it. Dick (Nick Offerman, dignified and formidable) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch, a big teddy) may be very different kinds of businessmen to Croc, but see eye-to-eye on his hard work ethic and revolutionary improvements to their industry, eventually seduced and exploited by their partner. The film is stylish (look at the aerial shot staff training drill on a chalk-sketched restaurant) impeccably acted and sharply written, but it requires you to be a little bit enamored by those Golden Arches. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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