Stars: Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch.
Director: John Lee Hancock
Verdict: 2.5 stars
WITH two incredible performances, in two Best Picture-winning movies in consecutive years, anticipation was high to see Michael Keaton in The Founder; the real life story of Ray Kroc who took a small but revolutionary burger shop idea and made it into the worldwide, fast food phenomenon, McDonald's.
Using a model mastered by the likes of Aaron Sorkin with his work on The Social Network and Steve Jobs, The Founder was another opportunity to examine a flawed character that changed the world.
While the film has many levels of technical success, particularly capturing the period flavour in which it's set, The Founder sadly falls short in a more fundamental way: the protagonist is far too vile to ever really earn the audience's sympathy.
The challenge when telling this kind of story is to find a way to make the main character likeable and understandable, even if the audience disagrees with their actions.
The Founder isn't about Kroc's descent into the cut-throat world of corporate America; his motives, morals and intentions remain constant through the whole process.
Watching someone achieve such extreme success with zero self reflection or remorse for the people they hurt, is far from satisfying as a movie goer.
Maybe that's the point. Perhaps this is less a personal journey and more a warning about the repercussions of unrestrained greed.
It has some really engaging moments but without an authentic personal connection, everything potentially great about the Founder can't help but disappoint.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.