February 4, 2017

Review: The Founder

We first saw a preview for The Founder on April 30, 2016.  This movie's release was pushed so often I thought it had been pulled.  Before we get started I wanted to let you know that according to History Vs. Hollywood, The Founder stayed very true to the facts.  
I'll be honest with so many great choices in the theatre, this would not normally be my choice.  However, if it wasn't for MsE being a part of the leadership team (their title not mine) at Chick-Fil-A and interested in this story, I probably would have waited for it to appear on Netflix.  
Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the self-proclaimed founder of McDonald's.  Within moments you know that their mascot Ronald was NOT based on Mr. Kroc, well maybe that big smile.  It took a while to get to the meat (pardon the pun) of the story but once it arrived it took off.  Kroc has been around the restaurant business for years, with paper cups, fold-a-notes and other quasi successful products.  He's pushing six-spindle milk shake mixers when he discovers the business model that the McDonald brothers have created.   Seeing a potential he believes Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carrol Lynch) can't, he eventually convinces them to allow him to establish franchises.  They control all the power while Kroc does all the work.  While they're back in San Berndino, CA receiving checks Ray is running around setting up franchises in 9 different states, but he's not making any money.  Upon meeting Harry Sonneborn (B.J. Novak) Ray's success is finally a possibility, thus the beginning of a Real Estate company which then becomes The McDonald's Corporation.  Your heart breaks a little when you realize that good business people like the McDonald brothers, who didn't want to cut into the profits of their franchisers, are more rare today then they were back in the 1950s.  
I think Ray Croc wasn't simply a wolf in sheep's clothing but more like a Great White on a feeding frenzy.  He knew what he wanted and would do anything to achieve the success he saw for himself.  Causalities along the way such as his wife were mere nuisances. The McDonald brothers were obstacles, their origin story was even thrown out so Ray could create his version of alternate facts, in which he was "The Founder".  In 1991, years after Kroc stepped down, McDonald's started acknowledging Dick and Mac McDonald along with Ray Kroc on Founder's Day,
There was one particular true to life moment in the film that pissed me off.  The McDonald brothers are meeting with Kroc to sell their last bit of the business.  This is a meeting with both sides being represented by lawyers mind you.  Ray Kroc promises the brothers that 1/2 percent royalty but let's just shake hands, not put it in the contract.  WHAT LAWYER SITS THERE AND ALLOWS THEIR CLIENTS TO DO THIS????  Kroc, true to nature, never paid a dime.  Would they have ever made 2.7 million dollars without Kroc ~ No.  But Kroc wouldn't have become who he was without them either.  It's estimated that in 2012 that 0.5% would have been worth $305,000,000.00!!  
Overall it was a good movie, but I don't think you should see it at the theaters, wait for Netflix like I was going to.  We're headed to The Comedian

3.5/5 Crowns

Fun trivia:
McDonald's sold Happy Meal toys for Batman Returns (1992), starring Michael Keaton.
One more side note:  We grabbed McDonald's on the way home.  While waiting at the window for our food we told the workers we'd just seen this movie about Ray Kroc.  WHO??  (That doesn't fly at Chick-Fil-A per Ms E they all know the Truett Cathy story)

4 Previews ~
The Shack ~ Wasn't a fan of the book but love Octavia Spencer
Wilson ~ Comedy with Woody Harrelson (maybe) 
Going in Style ~ Comedy, 70 somethings rob a bank (YES)
Bitter Harvest ~ Historical Drama; Ukraine during Stalin's time ~ How haven't I heard of this (Big Screen)

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