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"Fast Food Nation"

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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: "Fast Food Nation" Reply with quote

Man. This was one bad movie. I'll quickly cop to not being the target audience ("self-righteous vegan?) but the film's political point of view is beside the point here. The storytelling, such as it is, is just bad. More polemic than film, "Nation" repeatedly stops dead in its tracks to allow characters to go on tirades that sound as though they're being lifted from a political pamphlet.

There's not one but TWO scenes in which earnest college kids complain to each other at length about how the rest of the world just doesn't get it. It's so stilted that you think Linklater (who's made some films I really like) will puncture the balloon at some point. But he never does. At that point you realize that we're actually meant to sit there and marvel and root for their dorm-room screeds. Ugh. A guest turn by Linklater fave Ethan Hawke (as someone's hip, politically conscious uncle) is only an excuse for more leaden speechifying.

I'm gonna "spoil" one scene here (and it's only really spoiling how bad the movie is). The college kids decide to strike back against the meat-packing plant at the edge of town by freeing cattle and hopefully causing a bit of havoc. Of course, once they open the fence, the cows refuse to walk through the open gate. So the kids start screaming "come on! we've opened the gate! run to freedom! why won't they listen?! don't they realize they're going to die?!" It just goes on and on. And it is the clumsiest, most OBVIOUS attempt at metaphor I've seen in awhile. Don't ya get it? WE'RE the cows! *rolls eyes, throws up in mouth just a little* It's heavy-handedness on a level you rarely see apart from Oliver Stone.

The college kids are actually one of three main threads in the film, the others following a goodhearted "Mickeys" marketing exec (Greg Kinnear) sent to check out claims of fecal matter in the burger meat and a group of illegals (including 'That 70s Show' star Wilmer Valderrama and the beautiful Catalina Sandena Moreno) that see the ugly side of the American dream.

Oddly, the Greg Kinnear subplot, that looks as if it will be a main focus early on, is completely dropped two-thirds of the way through. You literally don't see the guy again until the end credits.
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The book is great. It's really not something that can be adapted into an "acting movie". It would make for a great documentary, probably even better now than at the time it was written give legislation has swung even further in the direction of the major food companies since the book came out. I'd highly recommend folks spend the money on the book and skip the movie.

John, reduced to freaking dial-up as my cable modem blew...
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