The Founder

By Angie Raphael

I was worried The Founder was going to be a giant advertisement for McDonald's, but in some ways it is actually the opposite and the film remains compelling for its entire two hours. This dramatisation of the true story, written by Robert D. Siegel and directed by John Lee Hancock, shows how travelling salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) schemed his way into gaining control of the McDonald's brand from innovative brothers, Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac McDonald (John Carroll Lynch), in the 1950s to create the global empire we know today. The film has an inconsistent tone, at times being a somewhat critical expose of how Kroc took advantage of the brothers and exploited other people, but at other times celebrates the fast food chain. Keaton has a lot of fun with the lead role, especially as Krok becomes more sinister. Offerman and Lynch are also very good in their sympathetic roles, while B.J. Novak is appropriately sly as the man who sends Kroc down his truly nasty path. Unfortunately, the female characters, played by Laura Dern and Linda Cardellini, had very little to do. With the film passing some degree of judgment on Kroc but not really against McDonald's, some viewers might walk out of the cinema deterred from eating at the chain again, while others might head straight for a drive-through on the way home.