The Founder sees Michael Keaton totally dominate the screen again as Ray Kroc in this gripping true-life tale of how the American fast food empire that is McDonald’s came to be.
The story is full of energy, innovation, backstabbing and all the ruthlessness you could wish for.
Kroc is a struggling salesman who’s seemingly sold every type of ‘life changing’ product in the past, his current innovative product is a milk shake maker. While on his travels he hears of a burger joint that’s ordered six of these machines which seems totally absurd to him so he decides he needs to know more. He makes his away across state to meet the McDonald brothers and finds they’ve invented the ‘speedy system’ giving customers a burger 30 seconds after they order. Now, we may be accustomed to such delivery now but this was truly revolutionary back in the 1950s. Kroc is now like a dog with a bone and just can’t shake his vision for franchising this idea. However, he has some work to do to convince these careful and controlling brothers to sign over their beloved restaurant secrets.
John Lee Hancock’s well-paced and fascinating film delivers its lessons on honour and betrayal in business without bias and judgement and leaves the audience to decide the morality of the whole affair. Keaton in phenomenal as the late blooming entrepreneur to an almost exhausting extent. The character’s tenacity is inspiring and his performance shows many sides of this persistent and at times inspiring man.
Nick Offerman as Richard “Dick” McDonald and John Carroll Lynch as Maurice “Mac” McDonald are funny, charming and dignified as they become a cautionary tale for how business can eat the good guys alive.
The Founder is an excellent true story film that captures perfectly not only the minds and innovations needed to change the world but also uses the passion and perseverance of its main protagonist as the fuel to take it to the next level.
The Founder is out in NZ cinemas 24 November.
Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar