[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oprJX5BomEc&w=560&h=315]

The story before the Big Mac…

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Director John Lee Hancock appears to have been bitten by the biopic bug as he presents ‘The Founder, which takes to the big screen this Friday in the USA. Based on a true story, ‘The Founder depicts Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton, ‘Birdman‘ and ‘Batman), a cut-throat milk shake machine salesman who meets the McDonalds brothers, owners of a humble restaurant chain in California during the mid 50’s. Impressed by the brothers’ super speedy service and having recognised the huge potential this small enterprise had, Kroc takes ruthless steps towards acquiring a small time diner and creating a fast food empire. ‘The Founder‘ just reeks of irony.

The trailer gives suggestion towards a fast-paced, insightful film with Michael Keaton at his best, Ray Kroc’s portrayal is charismatic yet merciless and unrelenting. With Oscar nomination votes already in the ballot boxes, and the worlds’ press sharpening their pencils, I start to wonder whether or not Michael Keaton’s name gets a mention next week.

Reviewers and previewers alike have already suggested that this is the picture which births the emergence of the new ‘Trump Era’, exploring the theme of business success through the hard-nosed acumen of one person, as the trailer indicates it’s a “dog eat dog, rat eat rat” world. It would appear to me however that themes such as this are not new, ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘The Social Network are two biopics of recent years which have looked at similar themes.

The Founder appears to be an interesting biopic of a very well-known institution, but with a largely untold history. I am excited to see where this film goes, with a great leading actor and talented supporting cast including Nick Offerman (The Lego Movie) and John Carroll Lynch (Shutter Island), I can’t see why anyone would want to give this a miss.

‘The Founder’ releases in UK cinemas on 17th February 2017

Written by Mark Putley