Directed By: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman
My Rating: 7 out of 10
This is the story of how McDonald's came to be the massive giant it is today, from its humble beginnings as a burger stand, to the massive corporation we now know. What got it there is an interesting tale of treachery and sheer, bold determination of one ruthless man. Now this review is not here for me to explain the details of the story of McDonald's. If that interests you then watch the movie however, what I want to focus on is a solid performance from Michael Keaton, who really carries this throughout and as biopics go, this was a rather enjoyable one.
It’s a fantastic performance from Keaton, in a film I really didn't expect too much from. He portrays the brutally head strong American businessman Ray Croc, his ambitions to take control of the company that wasn't his to begin with and grow it to the 'love it or hate it' money-making behemoth it is today. Like McDonald's you will probably either love this guy or hate this guy too. He is an arsehole, no doubt, yet you cannot help but be a little impressed by a man so cunning that he basically sweeps the rug from under the actual owners and puts them out of business whilst simultaneously taking all the money and business for himself. Keaton absolutely nails this.
In balance the misfortune and sad tale of the McDonald brothers themselves is all too evident. Nick McDonald, played by Nick Offerman, was also excellent. They try to remain wholesome to the family ideals and quality of their restaurants but sadly for them, they let the devil in, and that devil took them to the cleaners. Clearly their side of the story is frustration and dismay, the little people being trodden on by the big corp and perhaps that's the kind of story we need in an age of ruthless capitalism, it certainly hits home.
The feel is authentic, right down from the cars, to the actors attire and the sets. It looks magnificent, which really makes it easier to tell the story from all those years ago and perhaps the only thing that seemed to get lost a bit for me was the romantic arc that was featured around Ray and Joan Smith. Other than that I think John Lee Hancock really had a decent outing with this engaging story.
Despite its cold hard storyline there are also great moments of comedy throughout, again served up by Keaton and Offerman. At the end of the day, in essence, this is just a well shot, good, solid movie that tells a fantastic and interesting story. A biopic that really had no right to capture our attention for too long and yet it grips you and makes you sure you are loving it.
(winky face emoticon should be inserted here for my McDonald's slogan placement)