First, the Recap:
It all starts with an idea. For milkshake mixer salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), career choices haven’t been too keen. While able to provide a decent life for himself and wife Ethel (Laura Dern), Ray wants more. When it seems there will be no brighter future, Kroc gets a particular sales order in San Bernardino, CA that prompts him to travel there himself to check out the establishment in question–McDonald’s Hamburgers. The brainchild of brothers Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman), Ray’s sense of what it could be after seeing the operation in action creates an opportunity of a lifetime–franchising. With the brothers hesitant at the idea, Ray ultimately convinces them to create the contract that allows him to pursue the franchising of McDonalds, with parameters in place that keep the brothers in control. But, as time goes on and Ray becomes more knowledgeable and ambitious, soon ignoring or going around the contracted allowances and onward to create one of the biggest restaurant empires in the world–but at what final cost?
Worth Seeing: Yes
“The Blind Side”, “The Rookie”, and “Saving Mr. Banks” director John Lee Hancock grabs the helm of this biographical picture and does so with a real sense of purpose to illustrate that for all his visionary success in making McDonald’s Corporation become what it is, Ray Kroc was far from a scrupulous individual in doing so, especially once the real money began coming in and other means of making more were revealed. Ambitious but ruthless to a fault, so many other people ended up paying the price for his vision of expansion, very much so the case with the McDonald brothers themselves and his wife Ethel.
Keaton is genius in roles like this, and he plays Kroc wonderfully here, every nuance and unbending quirk in tow. Solid supporting turns are offered from Dern, Offerman, and Lynch along with B.J. Novak, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, plus a host of others. It’s engaging, true-story based, character-driven drama and an eye-opening look at the creator of arguably the biggest fast food franchise in the world, that for all intents and purposes, he really didn’t found, but took credit for without restraint.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!