Review: The Founder

I don’t remember January hitting me with such an onslaught of movies. Last week and this week alone, there were about nine different movies that opened.

This is as opposed to last January, where I only saw seven theatrical releases… two of which were movies that opened in December 2015.

 

Not only that, but the majority of movies this year have been good. Sure, we got a horrendous horror movie, and the new race relations movie, new gangster movie, and new Mark-Wahlberg-plays-a-patriot-movie were all just alright, but I’ve already seen two fantastic movies already.

And now, The Founder makes it three.

 

 

The Founder is a very entertaining, surprisingly fast-paced biopic about the man who supposedly founded McDonald’s and the men whose idea it was to begin with.

Michael Keaton does a very good job playing a persistent weasel who has just enough likability to almost forgive all the terrible things he does. There’s a very odd dynamic in this movie where you really want to hate Keaton’s character, but there’s times where you can really understand why he does the things he does. He’s still despicable, but he’s relatable at the same time.

Now as much as I enjoy Keaton as an actor, I’m starting to get the feeling that he doesn’t have much range. I’ve seen Birdman, Spotlight, and now this movie, and although Keaton does a fine job in all three, I can’t seem to point to anything that clearly differentiates each performance.

 

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Now as great of a job as Keaton does, the movie doesn’t truly hook into you until the McDonald brothers, Dick and Mac, are introduced. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch not only both do well in the roles they are given, but they play off each other really well. The care that their characters had for each other, their principles, and their restaurant was clearly demonstrated through their performance. They also have a very interesting dynamic between themselves and Keaton’s character. And honestly, I just really enjoy the characters that Nick Offerman plays anyway.

Now again, neither of these two characters are extremely differentiated from past roles; Offerman’s performance reminded me a lot of Ron Swanson. However, although none of these characters rewrite any books with their acting, they are all still great in their respected roles.

 

Everyone else does fine in this film too.

 

What really sells this film is how the information is relayed. The restaurant atmosphere and expectations that we are use to now is extremely different from when McDonald’s was first becoming a thing, so as Dick and Mac begin reinventing the wheel with their restaurant, so to speak, the information has been relayed in a way that we understand exactly HOW they reinvented it, and WHY it was so amazing.

This is particularly demonstrated in a scene early on in the movie where Dick and Mac are telling their story to Ray Kroc (Keaton). It was quite honestly one of the best scenes in the entire film.

 

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This movie takes what could easily be boring subject matter translated into a boring movie, and breathes a life into it that was extremely interesting to watch. All performances were great, and the entire story is fun, worrying, and sometimes very very sad.

Is it a massively groundbreaking movie? I can’t think of any reason to call it so, but it is definitely worth your money and your time. At the very least, it got everything right that it needed to, and that deserves an applause, and I’m giving this movie a 7 out of 10.

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