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Michael Keaton sizzles in ‘The Founder’

Moviegoers were introduced to the legend of McDonalds and Ray Kroc. Michael Keaton stars as McDonalds executive Ray Kroch, who starts out as a traveling salesman selling milkshake makers to drive-ins across the country.

While selling his machines, Kroc stumbles upon McDonalds and is surprised how fast their service is and ends up meeting McDonald brothers Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch). Kroc takes the understanding of how easily they can replicate the single McDonalds restaurant across the country. He makes the pitch to the brothers who are weary of agreeing but end up allowing him to run their franchising operation.

The film delivers a strong story of corporate America and how there are wolves in the henhouse looking to devour the mom and pop stores. Keaton delivers a passionate performance as the villain looking to make a quick buck. His greatest line “If my competitor was drowning, I’d walk over and put a hose in his mouth,” shows the audience his true colors.

Keaton steals the screen from a handful of A-list stars including Laura Dern, Kroc’s house wife Ethel Fleming, Patrick Wilson, Linda Cardellini and BJ Novak. The Founder’s script is by Robert D. Siegel, the former editor-in-chief of The Onion, whose previous works include ‘Big Fan’ and ‘The Wrestler.’ John Lee Hancock directed this film and has become known for creating true story films such as ‘The Blindside’ and more recently ‘Saving Mr. Banks.’

As the story moves forward, Kroc manages to take the business away from the original founders. Hancock avoids including some of the controversial stories in Kroc’s life including his affair with the wife of a franchise owner and Kroc’s decision to build a franchise across from the original McDonalds’ location.  Mr. Keaton’s performance is fascinating from beginning to end, and the movie around him is entertaining in parts. While good at parts, it fails to earn any shot at Oscar contention.

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