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The Founder (2016)

Review by CJ

Director:
John Lee Hancock

Starring:
Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch

Other notable appearances:
Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, B.J. Novak, Kate Kneeland

Running time:
115 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
The Wolf of Wall Street, American Made, The Fifth Estate, The Big Short

 

Salesman Ray Kroc (Keaton) has tried selling every fad invention from the Multimixer to the paper cups, but he knows as soon as he sees his first McDonald’s that this is something very different. Ray uses every sales technique in his book to hustle Dick (Offerman) and Mac (Lynch) McDonald into business with him. Soon the McDonalds brothers are left wondering if they did a deal with a man or the devil himself.

The Founder is a fascinating look into one of the world’s largest franchise’s somewhat sordid beginnings. To be honest, I had no idea that McDonald’s had such a tumultuous and heart-wrenching story behind it.

Keaton’s portrayal of Ray Kroc is outstanding. He owns the role and makes it his but in a way that gives us no reason to forgive the actions of the character. I loved Keaton’s performance, while still able to acknowledge that I loathed the actions of the man he was playing. The resulting film has a lead character that feels genuine.

Offerman and Lynch were a delight to watch as the McDonalds brothers. The characters are both so different and the actors did a great job of portraying those differences while still working symbiotically.

I don’t think The Founder is a film that I would watch again but as far as biopics go, it does a wonderful job of telling a story of ruthlessness, business and what can happen when the American dream is shared by opposing viewpoints.

Rating:

“If I saw a competitor drowning, I’d shove a hose down his throat.”

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