7:30 PM, 12th April, 2017
We might never know why Michael Keaton’s career went from Batman and Beetlejuice in the ’80s to appearing in the likes of Herbie: Fully Loaded and First Daughter in the early 2000s. But we can at least be thankful that, ever the hard worker, Keaton has made a brilliant comeback in recent years with award-worthy turns in back-to-back Best Picture winners Birdman and Spotlight. And his winning streak continues here with The Founder.
Keaton plays Ray Kroc, a down-on-his-luck milkshake machine salesman who spots a business opportunity when he pays a visit to brothers Mac and Dick McDonald (Lynch and Offerman), owners of a revolutionary new hamburger joint by the name of – you guessed it – McDonald’s. Kroc sees immense potential in the brothers’ speedy system of food production and initially partners with them as a franchising agent. As the business grows, however, so does Kroc’s ambition and he begins to want more than just a franchise.
Playing like a fast-food-fuelled version of The Wolf of Wall Street, this tall true tale serves as yet another masterful showcase for Keaton’s boundless energy and talent. Much like The Social Network and Steve Jobs, the film does away with the need for a heroic – or even likeable – protagonist, but there’s no doubt you’ll find yourself admiring Kroc’s tenacity at the end of the day thanks to Keaton’s compelling performance. The Founder is a sharp, fun and shrewdly cynical look at the founding of an American empire – and I’m lovin’ it.