The Founder is a biographical film about the “founder” of McDonald’s Ray Kroc and it portrays the story of the McDonald’s fast food chain. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch co-star as McDonald’s founders Richard and Maurice McDonald. Ray Kroc is a traveling salesman selling Prince Castle brand milkshake makers in 1954. While he has a supportive wife, Ethel, and has saved enough to live a simple comfortable life in Arlington Heights, Illinois. After learning that a drive-in in San Bernardino is ordering an unusually large number of milkshake makers, Ray drives to California to see it. What he finds is McDonald’s—a highly popular walk-up restaurant with fast service, high-quality food, disposable packaging and a family-friendly atmosphere. After meeting the McDonald’s brothers, he tours the restaurant and is very impressed by the employees’ strong work ethic, high quality food and super fast service. After taking the brothers to dinner, he learns the origin of McDonald’s and asks them to franchise the restaurant and finds out that had tried to franchise it, but that job fell under. Ray persists and the brothers finally agree franchising it, only if Ray signs a contract stating that all changes to McDonald’s will have to approved by them first.
Ray breaks the rules by changing up the look of McDonald’s, adding new menu items, changing the advertising, building new locations and calling himself the founder without approval from Richard or Maurice. Ray eventually goes into debt and has to mortgage his house. But with the help of Harry Sonnebom, financial consultant for Tastee-Freez, he reviews Ray’s books and sees that the real profit is in adding real estate to the franchise. After many unathorized attempts to make more money, the brothers finally agree to $2.7 million dollars and ownership of their founding restaurant in San Bernardino, and a 1% annual royalty, but when the time comes to finalize the agreement, Ray refuses to include the royalty in the settlement and instead offers it as a handshake agreement.
Micheal Keaton does an outstanding job as Ray Kroc and both Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch are great as the McDonald brothers. This film shows how the most famous restaurant in the world was founded, with all the good, the bad, and the down right ugly. Although Ray wanted to keep the restaurant family-friendly, he did many deceitful things to keep it that way and to make more profit. You think at first that Ray is a great guy trying to give people jobs, (which is great), but really to him, more employees, more money. Even though Ray and Richard and Maurice helped to found the McDonald’s where we’ve all eaten at, it took whilrwinds of obstacles to get to the place we know today. This movie will make you cheer and get angry, but it is done very realistically. Michael Keaton scores again with this one! 4.5/5