For many decades Worldwide people young and old have been (and many still are) have been ‘Loving it’, the McDonalds Brand. You wonder when the world renowned company gets so big, even a muttering there is always an urge for a Big Mac or Milkshake. Profits have become more important you wonder behind the success was there any form of humanity ever grace the company?
John Lee Hancock‘s The Founder provides that glimpse into early corporate days of a fast food giant, a ‘giant’ that Morgan Spurlock that said ‘Supersized America’. But those in the McDonalds Family, ‘ It’s an arm around the American Dream’ with another revealing the cruelty and dirty side of Capitalism. Could Capitalism be empathetic or persistence for pure greed and destroy lives?
In The Founder, we find ourselves on the road in 1950’s USA, we meet Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) a middle-aged tired salesman. Who lives on the road, in hotels, living religiously to his self-help records (he travels with too), one-time selling bibles now selling Milkshake machines to drive in diners. He’s ambitious despite making very few sales, determined to find that break, fear of not succeeding.
He doesn’t have to wait long for his big moment, when one one of his daily calls back to his work’s office, his secretary tells him about an order of six machines. Ray thinks it’s a big mistake and decides to head to that dinner in San Bernardino, California.
His first experience of the McDonalds diner ran by brothers Dick and Mac (Maurice) McDonald (played by Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch) leaves Ray speechless. The brothers offer him a tour of the diner which gives him an insight into their way of working, philosophy. Ray has also now found his big break.
After convincing the Brothers into their world, Ray quickly presents them with his ideas to expand the company. Before we know it he’s speaking to influential business people and friends delivering a sales pitch as if it was a matter of life and death. Slowly the global brand we know today starts to take shape as and Ray having everything that Dick and Mac McDonald passionately created.
Ray Kroc may not be that name you would immediately associate with a McDonalds nor would you realise it was two brothers who revolutionised fast food.You would have to dive deep into the history books to find that information when you watch The Founder learning how Ray Kroc treated Dick and Mac McDonald you wonder if they get any credit from the global giant.You would also assume the movie would just be one big product placement but as the movie progresses this is a movie of two worlds and how they clashed to become that brand we know today.
The McDonald Brothers revolutionised the fast food industry with their methods and controls living by a code of ethics and principals. Honourable businessmen with high standards, hard working positive thinkers who delivered your meal by the time you paid for it. Then there’s Ray Kroc a determined, canny salesman fascinated by the brothers ‘Efficiency, quality, control, speed‘. Challenge was an opportunity to Ray even if that means going behind the back as well as hijacking those he coaxed into been part of their family. When we first meet him we were empathetic but slowly we’re left wondering if he is the villain of the movie. He was the face that created McDonald’s corporate side of things, understanding the business model and when things go wrong he knew how to use lawyers to cushion any falls.
Fantastic, captivating performance from Michael Keaton, likewise with Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch as the brothers. The Founder tells a little unknown piece of American culture, a movie that’s not about Burgers and shakes but the rise of an industry leader. The success and greed of capitalism that will leave you to decide who is truly ‘The Founder‘.
Paul Devine | ★★★★
Biography, Drama | USA, 2016 | 12 | 12th June 2017 (UK) | Studiocanal | Dir.John Lee Hancock | Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, BJ Novak, Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini| Buy:[Blu-ray]
Audio & Picture Quality | ★★★★
The Founder has DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack, the sound is really good picking up natural background sounds from the diner kitchens. Even the atmospherics from the outside from animals, insects, crowds even music from speakers all feel very batural too. Carter Burwell (Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men, etc…)who is an regular composer for the Coen Brothers creates the score giving the movie a dramatic tone. The movie is shot on 1080p digital does make things a litte flat but still very glossy, sharp picking up little details. The neon style hues for the McDonalds arches feel very earthy strong overall feel.
Extras | ★★★
The extras very standard these days for many home entertainment releases with a number of Featurettes including The MacDonald Brothers which Cast and Crew talk about the McDonald Brothers and the revolution they were created in California in the 1950’s. Next is The Production Featurette which focuses on the creating of the original McDonalds Diner and the first with the iconic ‘Arches’ which you see more of in the time lapsed featurette Building McDonald’s. These videos run for around 20 minutes, there does seem to be one video missing from the American home release which focuses on Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc however we do have an interesting 37 minute Press Conference which cast, crew and McDonald Brothers grandsons talk about the movie as well as a few things not brought up in the movie.