If you read my review of Hidden Figures earlier this week, you’ll note that I said that I enjoyed it.
Now that’s true, but while writing the review I had trouble coming up with an angle to approach it from, and now I realise why that was.
It wasn’t exactly ground-breaking.
Before the movie started, I knew exactly how it would pan out; these three women would face some adversity but ultimately would help play a small part in the launch of a rocket. And that’s what happened.
Now let’s face it, that isn’t a particularly interesting story, and I think it gets away with it because it is based on true events.
But should it?
I’ve now seen three films this year based on true events. Hidden Figures was good but hardly dramatic, while Jackie told a story we all know and in an attempt to be different presented it from a perspective that turned out to be neither interesting nor satisfying.
The Founder meanwhile is different.
It tells a story that I had never actually heard before and more-over it’s a story that I found genuinely informative.
It’s about how the McDonalds empire was created, and while on paper that doesn’t sound all that engrossing, it’s only when you sit down to watch it that you realise that you’ve never really considered a world before fast food was created. It’s something that we take for-granted now and yet there was a time before it was part of people’s lives.
I found it fascinating, and the way it all came about – and I won’t ruin it for you because I believe it’s worth watching without foreknowledge – offered up a moral dilemma about the business practices of Ray Kroc that inspired some debate between myself and my girlfriend afterwards. I still haven’t decided whether he was in the right, and I like that.
Of course, there are other elements that make this a great movie, not least the performances Michael Keaton (Kroc) and Nick Offerman and John Carrol-Lynch (The McDonald brothers), who bring some weight to their respective characters.
The only part that let it down slightly was the stuff about Kroc’s home life. It exists only to offer a sub-plot, presumably to stretch it out a little bit more, but I didn’t think it was touched upon enough to justify its inclusion.
That though doesn’t take much away from what I thought was a highly entertaining film and one that sets an example of the type of true story that studios should look to tell in the future.
It’s definitely worth seeing.