Movie Review: The Founder

“When the competition is drowning, stick a hose in their mouths.”, Ray Kroc

The best line in this great movie is the one above. I have never seen a movie about the reality of money, business, success or failure that is better than the film “The Founder” which is the true story about Ray Kroc and how the corporation Mcdonald’s was originally founded.

Prior to getting involved with McDonald’s, Ray Kroc was a failure, trying to sell milkshake machines to restaurants around the United States before he stumbled onto two fast food founders named McDonald in San Bernadino California who amazingly to Kroc, wanted to buy eight of his milkshake machines. During his entire life, Kroc failed at many ideas he tried, but due to the success recordings he was encouraged by, he relied on his perseverance to rise above all the bad times he had in his career. While watching this movie and all that Kroc had to go through, you just had to admire him for surviving all he had to endure to finally become successful.

The Mcdonald’s brothers were the original founders of the fast food idea in the 40’s, inventing a brand new mass production technique for food, much like Henry Ford who did the same thing for the automobile. Most fascinating was their story about the large number of setbacks they had to go through and their move from a small town in California to San Bernadino. This included putting their restaurant on a truck and then sawing it in half so it would clear a bridge in the town of San Bernadino. After that amazing feat, they ran into problem after problem until they finally perfected the idea of fast food. The Mcdonald brothers were two very honest men and two very nice guys and what this movie shows so well, is that very often in both business and in life, “Nice guys finish last”.

Everyone who sees this film will have to make up their own mind of how good or bad Ray Kroc is as a person is in this true story. In my opinion, some of the things he did were justified and some were more than just because of business, they were about revenge and perhaps taking out his many years of frustration and money problems on other people. Much like the true story in the movie Joy, even after Kroc had success, he still had major money problems and many huge obstacles in his way that he had to overcome. Kroc needed a ton of perseverance to be successful, but as this story shows, he also needed quite a bit of luck too.

The Founder is a great film and one of the best acting performances in Micheal Keaton’s entire career. There is a scene in this movie that was remarkably like the movie “Pacific Heights”, that starred Keaton and came out in 1990, where Kroc walked into a hospital room holding flowers where one of the Mcdonald’s brothers was having a major heart problem because of extreme stress. I was rather amazed at how similar this scene was to a major turning point scene in Pacific Heights, which is another great movie that Keaton starred in.

I highly recommend this movie because the story is amazing and its message about success and failure in business and in life is very significant.

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