Now I know what you’re thinking: how the heck does a fifty-two year old, over-the-hill milkshake machine salesman build a fast-food empire with sixteen-hundred restaurants, at an annual revenue of seven-hundred million dollars? One word: persistence.
I find myself watching a lot of movie trailers. Traditionally, trailers are created to generate interest in a film prior to its release, providing potential audiences with a sense of the film’s tone. Today, they’ve become an artform in themselves, with their editing and music often bettering that of their film counterparts.
Despite this, there are very few trailers that catch my eye, and even less which encourage me to see whatever they’re promoting – my decision to see a film is usually made long before any promotional material is released. One that has though, is the trailer for The Founder, a biographical drama about the founder of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc.
The trailer is embedded above for your viewing pleasure, but here’s a brief rundown of what happens. Kroc, played by Michael Keaton, sells milkshake mixers door-to-door and has just received an order from the McDonald brothers, whose burger restaurant has orders ready to go in 30 seconds – a speed unheard of during the 1950s.
Kroc encourages the two McDonalds to franchise their restaurant, and enters into a business agreement with the pair. After the brothers refuse to renegotiate their deal, Kroc attempts to buy the newly-found company outright. His tactics are downright devious, to say the least, and leave his one-time partners absolutely dumbfounded.
What I love about this trailer is that it doesn’t hide the fact that its protagonist is morally bankrupt. His cunning is matched only by his will to win back what he believes he is entitled to. That wry smile at the end of the trailer says it all – Kroc knows he has done wrong and gotten away with it.
I also find it interesting how the trailer gives away the entire plot, an attribute which many in the industry consider to be a sin. Doing this removes any suspense or surprise from the movie, especially for those unfamiliar with the McDonald’s story. The film is positioned instead as a character study of a fascinating individual.
These two peculiarities have managed to make the trailer stand out from the dozens released online every week. It’s one of those very rare instances where the trailer has made me want to see a film. The Founder will be released in Australia on November 24th, so expect to see a review here on “One Large Popcorn, Please!” soon after.
On a side note, did you know that Nick Offerman is in this film? He plays the younger McDonald brother, Dick, and had to shave off his trademark moustache for the role. As a fellow purveyor of facial hair, I would just like to say this: Nick, I know the pain you have been through, and am here for you in your time of grief.