Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, a failure in his fifties who still has dreams of hitting it big. We open up with Ray giving a sales pitch for a shake machine. We then watch as everyone he pitches slams the door in his face. Then he hears about a small hamburger stand that ordered six of the shake machines. This leads him to McDonald’s, a small, but very well run restaurant in California.
Ray is amazed by the crowds and the speed of food delivery. The McDonald brothers take Ray on a tour and show him exactly how they run their business. Ray can see that there is something here. Something real. Something he can use to become the wealthy man he has always dreamed of becoming.
The Founder tells the story of how Ray Kroc stole the McDonald brothers business and their name. At the same time, without Ray Kroc, McDonald’s wouldn’t be what it is today…a restaurant with about 37,000 locations and billions in revenue. The Founder focuses on the beginning of the story, how Ray and the McDonalds saw business and how Ray was not a very nice guy.
One fun scene near the start of the story sees the more pragmatic of the McDonald brothers complain about the fries being too crispy and how they should go back to their former process for cooking potatoes. Both Ray and his brother tell him the fries are perfect as they are.
Ray is a right bastard in his private life as well. If there is a hell, Ray surely has a prime location.
Nick Offerman plays Dick McDonald and John Carroll Lynch plays Mac McDonald. They are both perfect, spending most of their time looking baffled at what Ray does to them. The sets and the props are perfect. It’s an amazing story. Everyone appears to know that Ray ripped off Dick and Mac, but no one seems to care.
The Founder was a very good movie.