Fast Food Nation – **1/2

Posted: June 10, 2011 in Documentary, Drama, USA, XX1/2

Serious shit there. literally. Never thought I would watch a movie about shit in hamburgers, which is the premise of this low-budget anti meat business statement.

I love meat, so I’m not going to stop eating hamburgers after having seen this. But I guess, a lot of people who see this movie, will. Or at least think about skipping a visit to fast food joints like McDonalds.  In that sense the movie has a purpose. Kind of. I read it’s based on a non fiction book about the nasty world of hamburger producers. I’m interested in reading the book. Regardless if the movie is good or not, I was fascinated by the topic.

This movie not only shows you what actually happens to the cows before they become hamburgers, it also focuses on the illegal (Mexican) workforce in those huge slaughterhouses/production sites. That I found much more shocking. I don’t care if there’s parts of shit in my Double Whopper. I’m sure it’s only very little amounts. And like Bruce Willis’ character says: nobody dies from swallowing a little bit of cow dung. I do care about the safety and treatment of illegals at big companies who love to profit from cheap workforce, but dump them when something goes wrong. Maybe there’s a socialist in me. Somewhere. Deep inside.

The movie itself isn’t all that good though. The acting is at moments ridiculously amateur. I think the person who cast hypocrite punkpop bore Avril Lavigne as a meat fighter should get fired. And Ethan Hawke just isn’t a good actor, unless he plays a loser cop or gets lost in Vienna with a French girl. But the script also has its flaws. There’s just too many stories and they don’t even merge at the end of the movie. Had this been a tv series, it could have developed to something unique. Now, it’s just a nobel initiative to make people aware of what they eat and how it’s produced. Nothing more.

Oh in case you wonder. A manager from a fictitious fast food burger company needs to find out how on earth science students could find so much shit in their most popular hamburger, the Big One. He goes to the production plant to find out more and digs a bit deeper into the rumours that go around the town. In the meantime several illegal Mexicans cross the border and try to get a job at the production plant. Their jobs are shitty, but they make more money than at home and they go for the American Dream.

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