★★★☆☆ Worth a Watch!
More a detailed biopic of Ray Kroc and how McDonald’s became a billion dollar global food empire than the actual founders who masterminded the whole revolutionary speedy system. But that’s the whole ironic point.
‘The founder’ is fascinating because it’s essentially about a bad guy, an anti-hero that persistently and ruthlessly chases the American dream. Michael Keaton, the driving force of the film, is perfect as he masterfully portrays Kroc’s transformation from struggling salesman to cut throat, self-proclaimed corporate asshole that would do anything to drown out his competition and get what he wants. Unusually inspirational at times, Kroc ‘self-helps’ his way to success, from falling asleep listening to 1950s positive thinking records to hunting down the talent to man his far-reaching fast food chain. He single-mindedly tackles every hurdle but It’s all rather tragic as he resorts to shady backroom deals, unethical ambition and maliciously crushes the people that aided him along the way.
No doubt a well made film, but fails to resonate with as much power or emotion as other biographical films of recent years. It’s neatly packaged, flavorsome but not very nutritional.