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Fast food

Fast Food Nation movie meets with mixed reviews from critics, moviegoers

Monday, November 27, 2006 by: Jessica Fraser
Tags: fast food, movie reviews, Fast Food Nation


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(NewsTarget) Fast Food Nation, a fictionalized movie version of Eric Schlosser's best-selling nonfiction depiction of fast food companies' negative impacts on American life, opened over Thanksgiving weekend to mixed reviews from both critics and the public.

The film -- by "Dazed and Confused" director Richard Linklater -- follows an all-star cast of characters who are all connected in some way by fast food. Greg Kinnear stars as an executive for fictional fast food giant Mickey's, who embarks on a quest to find out why the Mickey's "Big One" burger has tested positive for cow feces.

Kinnear's character ends up in Cody, Colo., home of a meat packing plant that supplies Mickey's stores with its beef. Along his journey, Kinnear meets a cattle rancher played by Kris Kristofferson, a meat supplier played by Bruce Willis, a teenager working at a local Mickey's, and a host of other characters, including a pair of illegal immigrants who find work at the Cody meat processing plant.

Most reviewers found that the movie abandoned its potential to enlighten Americans on the origins and impacts of their fast food lifestyles. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviewer Bob Townsend writes, "What's most frustrating about 'Fast Food Nation' is how much it promises and how little it delivers."

The final chapter of the film, which takes viewers to the killing floor of the meat plant, fails to impact viewers as it should because it is so different from the rest of the film. "...when [Linklater] finally takes us to the kill floor, the shockingly real blood-and-guts footage looks lost and disconnected, as it it's part of another, more powerful film," Townsend writes.

However, Boston Globe reviewer Wesley Morris calls Linklater's film "...an angry movie that could shame a Big Mac lover into having a salad."

Though other reviewers call Fast Food Nation "disjointed," many moviegoers found the film graphic, disturbing, and an effective portrayal of the fast food industry.

Fast Food Nation earned $410,000 in its opening weekend, and is showing at theaters across the country.

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