Inspired by the incendiary New York Times bestseller that exposed the hidden facts behind America's fast food industry, Fast Food Nation combines an all-star ensemble cast lead by Greg Kinnear, Wilmer Valderrama and Avril ... more »Lavigne with riveting, interlocked human stories to serve up "a firecracker of a movie that jumps off the screen" (Rolling Stone). When a marketing executive (Kinnear) for the Mickey's burger chain is told there's a nasty secret ingredient in his latest culinary creation?"The Big One"? he heads for the ranches and slaughterhouses of Colorado to investigate...but discovers the truth a bit difficult to swallow.« less
what a stupid movie. Save your point. Not worth the two dollars I paid for it.
Brad S. (Snibot) from DALLAS, TX Reviewed on 5/10/2012...
After I watched this movie I was left thinking ... "why did I just do that?"
I am not sure what I was expecting, but this was neither entertaining, nor particularly interesting. There is a good cast, with some OK performances, but really I still don't know what the point of the movie was... is it to show that fast food resteraunts are the main cause for illigal immagration? or that the meat indistry is only interested in profits? or that the poor executives at the fast food companies are powerless chumps? I get that all corperations are basically money machines, and heartless. But the rest of this ... skip this movie there is really nothing worth watching, In fact it is almost 2 hours of my life that I will never get back.
Kathy W. (katlw) from PHOENIX, AZ Reviewed on 3/20/2008...
OMG. I just watched this. Im not into fast food, but if you are, you will never eat it again after seeing this film.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rosemary B. from PARADISE, CA Reviewed on 2/8/2008...
Open sex and bad language, not for children.
3 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
America in its glory
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 12/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's a sequence near the end of this film showing the slaughter of cows that must be seen to be believed. I've been a vegetarian for quite a while and this sequence made me cry. Yeah, I'm not ashamed to say that.
From one perspective, it's easy to say that this is an ultra liberal's view of American corruption. But how much of the film is false? Do Mexicans REALLY get shipped into the US as cheap illegal labor to work in meat packing plants by a collusion of the plants and outfits like "Mickey's" (an obvious stand-in for the most well-known name in fast food hamburgers in the US)? Oh yeah. They do. Does fecal matter ACTUALLY make its way into the ground meat that gets shipped out from the plant to "Mickey's" locations all over the US? Gee. Would I be shocked if that weren't true? Do corporate executives NOT care about what the public eats as long as their company makes healthy profits? Hey, it's the American way.
Linklater redeems himself here after the dubious virtues of "A Scanner Darkly"--bigtime. This is an acid portrait of American GREED and CORRUPTION to the maximum extent possible. If you don't think twice about becoming a vegetarian--or close to one--after seeing this film, you may want to check your pulse. Do I have a certain political leaning here myself? Yep. I do.
Kris Kristofferson shows up as, surprise, a kind of good guy (sort of)--a cattle rancher who verbally blasts the meat packer he's selling his cattle to for their corrupt practices. Bruce Willis is on hand as the meat packing plant CEO who basically doesn't give a s**t about anything except his own pockets. Greg Kinnear, the main character, is a "Mickey's" marketing exec who DOES have a conscience, but ultimately...yeah, you guessed it.
The Mexicans portrayed here are so caught up in wanting to make more money (who could blame them?) that they work at a meat packing plant pulling kidneys out of dead cows, putting up with sexual abuse, and occasionally suffering horrific accidents that can leave them maimed for life.
The bottom line: America is a meat factory. And the people who make the meat will do everything and anything they need to do to insure that the meat keeps getting ground out--full of fecal matter or not. Cause that's where the money is."
Loved the message...but needed something more...
Diane Moore | 11/19/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The movie follows three groups of people who are all affected by the fast food industry in some way: teenagers working at "Mickey's, illegal immigrants crossing into the United States and working at a meatpacking plant, and a man who works for the Mickey's company, in advertising. Though their paths only cross briefly if at all, the premise seems interesting. It shows the way the workers are treated, how someone can lose an arm or a leg in one of the machines, the "kill floor" and the graphic nature of cattle being slaughtered. Though it appears sanitary, there is a lot of "talk" from those that are connected to the place. Don Anderson ventures out to find the true story when his boss tells him that there was "fecal matter" discovered in the Mickey's meat. (Yet he still continues to eat it.)
All of this presented to you in an entertaining way makes the audience think. Yet there is something missing. Maybe it would have been better as a documentary. I think the reason that this movie was made as fiction, is so that it would reach more of an audience. Documentaries aren't viewed as often...though I would have loved to see it filmed that way.
I enjoyed the small parts by Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Avril Lavigne, and Bruce Willis. The message comes through loud and clear: big business doesn't care about customers, it cares about the almighty dollar. The only thing that can be done is, you have to stop buying their food. Until then, I hope to see more movies like this opening our eyes about the fast food industry.
I think it could have been done a little bit better. It's almost as if there is too much ground to cover, and a 2 hour film just doesn't do it. With that said, it may still put you off of fast food for a while. Pass the organic beef, please."
Fine exposé---even if the company in the film is fictional
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 06/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fast Food Nation is an excellent film about the very real and highly disturbing flaws that exist in a meat packing plant that provides the beef for Mickey's, a fictional fast food chain that doesn't exactly have its act together. Not only do we see how American lives are affected by this mess, we also see how desperate and sometimes frustrated, angry young people and illegal immigrants are drawn into this situation. The movie moves along at a good pace and the acting is terrific. The casting is excellent and this is one movie I must highly recommend even with a few hard to swallow (pardon the pun) scenes at the end of the "kill floor" at the meat processing plant.
When the action begins, we meet Don Anderson (Greg Kinnear) who is a high level executive at a fast food chain company. One day Don's boss informs him that some students at a university have found that there is waste matter in the meat. Don's boss orders him to the Colorado packing plant to investigate and try to find a way out of this mess.
We also meet desperate, frightened, yet sometimes angry Mexican immigrants who were so desperate for money that they illegally crossed the border from Mexico into the US. Two or three of them wind up working at the meat packing plant in Cody, Colorado. There is Raul (Wilmer Valderrama) and Sylvia (Catalina Sandino Moreno) and we also meet Coco (Ana Claudia Talancón). There are even young kids involved in the overall plot. There is Ashley Johnson who plays Amber, a cashier at Mickey's whose conscience bothers her about working there; and there is Paul Dano who turns in a stunning performance as Brian, a kid who spits in the food routinely and dreams up schemes to steal money from the fast food restaurant.
Of course, from here the plot can go almost anywhere. What happens when one of the Mexican men is injured--badly injured at the meat processing plant? How do Silvia and Coco get along when they get into the United States? What about Don Anderson--will he be able to find a graceful way out of this mess and make everything all right after all for Mickey's, the fast food chain? Watch the movie and find out!
We also get great smaller performances from highly talented actors including Kris Kristofferson and Bruce Willis. They make the movie all the more interesting and their acting is excellent, too.
The DVD comes with a documentary entitled "The Manufacturing of Fast Food Nation;" and there are four animated shorts as well. There is a commentary by director and co-author Richard Linklater and co-author Eric Schlosser as well.
Overall, I would recommend this film for grown ups--and those of them with strong stomachs at that. There is the issue of drug use in this film; and the scenes from the "kill floor" are not exactly going to help you sleep well tonight. However, if you can handle it, Fast Food Nation is a brilliant film that even allows its viewers to draw their own conclusions and opinions about these complicated topics. "
Brutal, Probing, Embarrassingly Honest Examination of the Fa
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FAST FOOD NATION got such minimal response in the theater run that it seemed to go straight to DVD. The PR for the film was such that it appeared to be 'hilariously funny' (according to the DVD box cover) and as such might just provide a bit of humor after a tumultuous day of work. WRONG! This little film adapted by Richard Linklater from Eric Schlosser's frightening book is agonizingly biting and insightful: if you elect to watch it, be prepared for some ugly facts that may just produce insomnia.
Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear) is a marketing strategist for 'Mickey's', a fast food chain that is highly successful in selling millions of 'The Big One' (the comparisons to the McDonald's Big Mac are not subtle!) and discovers that the meat patties have been found to grow E. coli in the lab! On an expedition to explore the validity of this problem he travels to Cody, Colorado to visit the plant that produces the meat patties for the entire national chain. And so the plethora of storylines begin: the film examines the illegal immigrants from south of the border brought in by coyotes, treated like dirt, and given jobs 'cleaning' the meat plant and working the food chopping lines and eventually the killing and slaughtering of the cattle whose housing conditions are filth personified; the teenage workers who people the Mickey's chain are shown to be discontent and equally capable of planning robberies as they are of attempting to free the soon-to-be-burgers cattle; the callous corporate types who cover the facts in favor of increasing monetary gain; the plant workers who abuse the immigrant workers in every way possible; the utter boredom of the populace of Cody and the resultant pacified response to the 'big problems' that seethe through their town. Yes, it is an expose of corruption on many levels, but the film doesn't stop there.
Linklater and Schlosser are careful to include the individuals caught up in the mess and those individuals run the gamut from the immigrants who only want to find a better way of life and will subject themselves to horrors both in their trek across the border and the mistreatment in the factories to find it, to the honest men of the corporations, the ranchers, and the teenagers who try to make a stand against the many problems that overwhelm them. And that is what makes the film so moving: it personalizes rather than generalizing.
The cast is huge and without exception excellent: Greg Kinnear, Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Willis, Bobby Cannavale, Ashley Johnson, Paul Dano, Patricia Arquette, Luis Guzmán, Wilmer Valderrama, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ana Claudia Talancón, Juan Carlos Serrán, Armando Hernández, Esai Morales, Ethan Hawke, Avril Lavigne...the cast just goes on and on. Be ready for some horrendously brutal scenes not only in the killing and cutting lines but in the sexual abuses equally as tragic. This is a film that should affect the viewer, and while it is overly long at almost two hours, it is as pungent a social comment as has been made. Grady Harp, March 07
Daniel B. Clendenin | www.journeywithjesus.net | 06/04/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Warning: watching the last three minutes of this film can lead to vegetarianism. Based upon Eric Schlosser's devastating book about the fast food industry by the same title (2001), this fictional film never quite finds its focus. The ostensibly main character disappears half way through, never to reappear. It's not clear which of the many sub-plots is the main narrative. But I still recommend the movie. When corporate hack Don discovers that there are more than chemical additives to Mickeys "Big One" burger, namely fecal matter, he travels to the Uniglobe Meat Packing Company to find out what's wrong. Lots, it turns out. You'll find yourself back in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906), what with illegal immigrant labor on the cheap, animal cruelty, horrible sanitation, hazardous work conditions, employee abuse, pitiless corporate greed, and more, all to feed our fast food habits. You'll never think about a Big Mac in the same way, nor should you, thanks to this mediocre movie that nevertheless provides some serious social commentary."