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FAST FOOD NATION is director Richard Linklater's big screen adaptation of Eric Schlosser's best-selling book, which exposes the evils of corporate fast-food production. Co-written by Linklater and Schlosser, the film presents a wide tapestry of characters whose lives are all affected in one way or another by Mickey's, a fictionalized fast-food chain. At the top of the chain sits Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear), a Mickey's marketing VP who is shocked to discover that a high fecal count has shown up in his company's burgers. Sylvia (Catalina Sandino Moreno), Raul (Wilmer Vilderrama), and Coco (Ana Claudia Talancon) are illegal Mexican immigrants who have found employment in the grotesque plant that produces those same burgers, working under the evil watch of supervisor Mike (Bobby Cannavale). Ashley (Amber Johnson) works the counter at a local Mickey's, but when she befriends a group of politically charged college students (Lou Taylor Pucci, Avril Lavigne), she thinks twice about her job. Along the way, several more characters are introduced (played by Kris Kristofferson, Ethan Hawke, and Bruce Willis), who voice the concerns expressed in Schlosser's nonfiction account. Linklater takes a leisurely approach to his otherwise in-your-face material, allowing certain stories to play themselves out before moving on to another. The result is a film that sneaks up on viewers. However, by the time it reaches its powerful conclusion, the filmmakers' point becomes painfully clear.
Number of Discs: 1
Rating: R (MPAA)
Film Country: USA
"Here's a firecracker of a movie that jumps off the screen, spoiling to be heard."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (09/07/2006)
"FAST FOOD NATION is a horror movie in the guise of a genial message film: it has funny, even goofy moments, but its implications -- grounded as they are in Schlosser's painstaking reportage -- are dead serious and excruciating to contemplate."
Film Comment - Kristin M. Jones (11/01/2006)
"[A] comprehensive critique of contemporary American life....It's a mirror and a portrait, and a movie as necessary and nourishing as your next meal."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (11/17/2006)
"Naturally, a subject this right-on draws a right-on cast. Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and Ethan Hawke pitch in." -- Grade: B+
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (11/24/2006)
3 stars out of 4 -- "An unflinching look at the unnerving implications of the expression 'you are what you eat'..."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (11/30/2006)
"Linklater writes great dialogue....FAST FOOD NATION sees missed connections and divisions, resignation and atomisation: in short, the slow sad seep of arbitrary, intransigent reality."
Sight and Sound - Nick Bradshaw (03/01/2007)
3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he documentary aspects are the strongest -- notably the closing scenes..."
Uncut - Alastair McKay (09/01/2007)
3 stars out of 5 -- "Greg Kinnear's affable burger-brand mouthpiece compels....What really races the pulse is Bruce Willis' cameo as a ruthlessly pragmatic wheeler-dealer."
Total Film - Matt Mueller (10/01/2007)
4 stars out of 5 -- "Richard Linklater does a commendable job of injecting some humanity and wit into the mix."
Empire - Barry McIlheney (09/01/2007)