“The Founder” stars Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, B.J. Novak, and Laura Dern. Released on January 20, 2017, the film is about a traveling salesman who plans on franchising a fast food diner.
The film is directed by John Lee Hancock, who also directed films such as The Rookie, The Alamo, The Blind Side, and my personal favorite, Saving Mr. Banks. It is based on a true story that involves Ray Kroc and his acquisition of the McDonald’s fast food chain. One of my most curious things about McDonald’s is how it got started. How it went from being a single diner with fast service and high-quality food to a global phenomenon that we know today. Well, it looks like we’re getting that answer in the form of a biopic. I really loved Hancock’s last film, Saving Mr. Banks, so I was pretty excited to hear that he’s directing another fact-based film. It had its premiere at Arclight Hollywood on December 7, 2016, but I’ll be reviewing it as a 2017 release. I was expecting it to be another hit for Hancock, and after seeing it for myself, I was not disappointed.
Michael Keaton once again delivered another great performance as Kroc. He’s got the face and the voice of a real-life traveling salesperson. What’s even better is that he also got the essence of a businessman who’s obsessed with success. Offerman and Lynch were also great together as the brothers who were the actual founders of McDonald’s. The story did a really nice job at exploring a bit more than just Kroc’s acquisition of the popular restaurant. It showcases that the rise to success can be a good thing to you, but it can be a bad thing to those around you. This film basically focuses on the fact that Kroc’s rise to fame can lead to the downfall of the McDonald brothers, mostly because of his obsession that lead him to make poor decisions, and Hancock displayed these types of consequences very well. This is something that people should learn if they’re planning on going on business. While the story didn’t provide any strong emotional depth, it makes up for it with a solid screenplay by Robert Siegel. The film’s pacing is a little slow in some cases, but Keaton’s magnetic performance kept it going for me.
Overall, it might not get any awards recognition, but in terms of the performances, mostly from Keaton, and the execution of its fact-based story, “The Founder” is as delicious and as satisfying as a McDonald’s happy meal. It doesn’t beat out Saving Mr. Banks as my favorite film from John Lee Hancock, but the exploration of how this popular fast food restaurant and its so-called “founder” came to be definitely has enough perks and flavor to consider it a success. Fans of Keaton will definitely like his latest performance, while those who are looking for a good biopic will get a kick out of this one.