The Founder 3.0 stars

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Synopsis

John Lee Hancock serves up a biopic of McDonald’s king Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton, just restrained enough as a ravenous dog in a human suit) that is not unlike the restaurant’s product: precisely prepared, brightly packaged (oh, that shot of the golden arches reflected in Kroc’s windshield as he pulls up for the first time), and uncomplicated in its appeal. Or at least, that’s how it goes down much of the time, as it hurtles through the story of how one man took another man’s idea and built an empire before deciding that you can’t really be the burger king while the kingmaker still lives. But then comes the moment where Kroc tells the McDonald brothers (beautifully portrayed as paragons of American decency and ingenuity by John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman) that he’s got a greater understanding of what they’ve created than they do. And just like that, the flavors get more complex. The gobsmacked brothers have been comparing Kroc to Hitler, a wolf, and a leech, and there’s no question that as a man, he ain’t much, and maybe less than most. But as a businessman, he’s a blankety-blank marvel, and there’s the rub.

Matthew Lickona

Length: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Rated: PG-13

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