The Founder (12A)

The Founder tells the true story of how the restaurant chain McDonald’s came to be such a household name. This isn’t your usual rags to riches tale. Instead it’s one of ruthless determination. Success at any cost. You get the jist.

We watch as seasoned salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) delivers pitch after pitch for his milkshake machines, hoping to strike it rich. In an age of drive in diners he should be raking it in. But people don’t care. They just want to continue making profit. They’re not interested in adding another element to their dining experience. After all if it’s not broke, why fix it?

Then Ray meets the McDonald brothers and everything changes. From this point his life will never be the same. These three men will go down in history but not all will be victorious.

Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick (Nick Offerman) have come up with a way to revolutionize the fast food industry. It’s called the ‘speedy system’. Using clockwork precision the two brothers can serve an order one minute after ordering. This method was unheard of back then. Diners were mostly drive ins frequented by lovesick teens and the wait time was atrocious. Food was either cold or not what the customer ordered. So you can see why the McDonald brothers stood out.

Ray saw an opportunity and took it. He realized that McDonald’s should become a franchise. The business model was solid, the demand was there and there was a hell of a lot money to be made.

Although skeptical about Ray’s intentions the two brothers agree to his master plan. Soon enough McDonald’s chains are setting up all across the US. But with every chain opening Frank becomes more consumed with power determined to create a billion dollar empire at any cost. Can the McDonald’s brothers protect their dream before it comes crashing down around them?

Michael Keaton excels in The Founder. He plays the meniacal business partner perfectly. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch also bring their own individual talents to their roles. Carroll Lynch with his intensity and Offerman with his uncontrollable anger.

The Founder isn’t a cheap and cheerful production about a fast food chain. It’s a tale of the American dream and what it takes to reach the top.

The Founder will be released in the UK on 17th February 2017.

By Ruth Walker

★★★☆☆

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