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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The Founder (2016)

By Saicho18

RANT: Boy, was it a bitch to find a cinema that screens this movie. It was released in the Philippines last Wednesday and had then been showing in SM Aura, SM Southmall and Bonifacio High Street. It wasn’t showing on any of the malls in Alabang, which was massively stupid if you ask me, but hey, I was willing to brave the Las Pinas traffic just to see it. The following day it disappeared from both SM Southmall and Aura, leaving me no choice but to stay late in the city just to catch it. How do malls decide on movies that they’ll screen? What’re their criteria and how can we change it? /End Rant.

Here’s my roundup of John Lee Hancock’s (Saving Mr. Banks (2013)) The Founder (2016).

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The Founder (2016)
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The Founder (2016)

Please note that there may be spoilers.  Read at your own risk.

THE STORY:

It’s a biopic of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton – Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014)), a milkshake machine salesman turned millionaire when he franchised the McDonald’s fast food chain from the McDonald brothers Dick (Nick Offerman – The Lego Movie (2013)) and Mac (John Caroll Lynch – Ted 2 (2015)).

THE GOOD:

  1. Michael Keaton because few actors could pull off the crazed glint in the eyes that I believe Ray Kroc truly possessed. I think he’s one of the few actors left in this generation that actually gets in the character’s head and truly understands their motivations. In the movie’s trivia page it said that the filmmakers originally wanted Tom Hanks to play the titular part but I think he would’ve made Kroc too likeable. When Hanks played Disney in Saving Mr. Banks it was understandable that a charming actor played him; he was, after all, the man behind all the Disney fairytales but Ray Kroc didn’t leave a legacy of feel good movies.
    The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The Founder (2016)

    The Founder (2016)

    " data-orig-size="1562,1024" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" aperture="aperture" />
  2. The snappy pace of the narrative that made it a fun watch. The same could not be said for a lot of biopics. I think they interspersed actual photos of the original diners into the mix but I’m not sure.
  3. It was, in essence, a good depiction of the American dream. Ray Kroc was right; McDonald’s was quintessentially an all American thing and the way he fought to rise to the top was an all-American success story.
  4. Patrick Wilson because *swoon*.

THE BAD:

  1. The timelines were a little bit blurry. I believe that the story spanned over at least two decades but it wasn’t clear in the movie. I think that it’s a failure of the costume department; while they painted a clear picture of how life was in the 50’s, it didn’t look like they progressed a whit as the story unfolded.
  2. Some of the suits looked too modern. There was a time near the end of the movie when Michael Keaton’s Ray Kroc was wearing these tight fitting suits that looked like they belonged in the current decade. These certainly did not help with the confusing timelines (to me at least).

THE UGLY:

  1. The film seemed hesitant to make Kroc the villain that he was. It’s a shame because they had casted a perfectly capable actor of bringing it over to that dark edge but while the film captured the character’s intense ambition, it seemed to just glide over the ruthless business decisions he made to get to the top. The man, after all, did build an empire so I don’t get why they had to play nice and smooth over the parts where he stepped on a lot of people to succeed.

    The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The Founder (2016)

    The Founder (2016)

    " data-orig-size="1578,1024" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" aperture="aperture" />Brothers McDonald

All in all, Hancock’s The Founder was both an educational and an enjoyable watch. While the story was already compelling, the way he chose to tell it made for an easy viewing. Performances were good all around but Michael Keaton really shines in this portrayal, the character’s ambition almost palpable through the screen. I just really wished that the filmmakers pushed the boundaries a little bit more by making the main character a little bit more unlikeable.

THE VERDICT: 7/10

*All photos are lifted from the film’s IMDB page.


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