Date watched: Thursday 9th February 2017
Year released: 2017
First time watching?: Yes
From IMDb: “The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers’ innovative fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.”
This movie was a surprise to me. To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting much; maybe a charming yet comedic biopic of a man who went from having nothing to building the huge empire that is McDonald’s today.
“The Founder” – whilst admittedly comedic – was not a charming little biopic.
Admittedly, before watching this movie, I knew nothing of it’s growth or development, so maybe that’s why this movie came as a surprise to me but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. It did a fantastic job of selling Ray at the start of the movie as a struggling milkshake machine salesman, travelling a lot and never spending any time at home with his wife. You really felt for him at the beginning.
By the end of the movie this first impression had been completely turned on it’s head, and I’m not even entirely sure when in the movie this occurred. It happened very subtly across the duration of the movie, that by the time it got to a point where he was trying to get the McDonald’s brothers to sell out to him you just knew he could stoop no lower.
Michael Keaton was fantastic in the lead role as Ray Kroc. I’ve only recently become to appreciate him as an actor, but he stole absolutely every moment he was on screen. Again, I don’t know anything about Ray Kroc other than what I learned from watching this movie, but Michael Keaton owned his role, and definitely carried the weight of this movie proudly.
This movie reminded me a lot of “The Social Network”; entertaining for the full runtime of the movie without any real lulls in the story or in the pacing, but as soon as it was over you kind of forget about it. This movie won’t win any awards, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s well directed, cast pretty solidly and the screenwriting is pretty tight too.
I found this movie surprisingly educational – in fact Wouldn’t be past suggesting anyone interested in going into business giving it a watch. I think people could learn a lot about how to be a ruthless business worker from studying Ray Kroc’s attitude towards life. I also found a lot of the backstory of McDonald’s interesting; where the idea came from and how revolutionary it was when the first restaurants first started opening.
Personally, I’m not that big of a fan of the restaurant chain. The mere smell of it makes me question why so many people love McDonald’s so much, but that didn’t make the movie about it’s inception any less entertaining for it’s two hour runtime. A pretty solid biopic, worth the watch if just to watch Michael Keaton being amazing.
My rating: 7/10