Super Size Me

2004

This documentary-style propaganda film chronicles the month-long fast food binge of writer/director Morgan Spurlock. His project reports several things, such as the rising popularity of fast food, the unfettered proliferation of McDonald's (which he attacks mercilessly), and how unhealthy fast food is. We see him morph from a healthy weight and physical condition to a point where his vital organs and systems are nearing irreparable damage.

This funny film abounds with figures, caricatures, and factoids, not to mention some very reproving caricatures of Ronald McDonald. Super Size Me is indeed well researched and his information is well supported. In addition to being rather entertaining, from a technical standpoint Super Size Me is exceptionally well done. My main problem here, is that the film vilifies the fast food industry for the obesity problem in America and absolves the blame from the consumers who make the conscious decision to devour fast food in unhealthy excess.

Spurlock did attempt to be fair and gave the spokesperson for McDonald's (the recently departed Ray Cantalupo, who was alive at time of filming) a chance to comment and/or respond to his findings, but after over a dozen unacknowledged calls, he never did get a chance to speak with him. He did manage to successfully consult with a talking head of a firm that represents many fast food corporations, and that interview is one of the film's highlights.

This film was the closing night selection of the Washington DC Filmfest and after the movie, a dozen anti-meat/pro-vegan crusaders accosted viewers outside the theater. It is unclear if it was the idea of his vegan chef girlfriend who appears in the film or an independent group, but it only added to the sense of agenda that the director pursues in Super Size Me. Although Spurlock is no Michael Moore, itís clear that he has some sort of beef [pun intended] with the fast food industry, which he clearly tenderizes and grills in the documentry.

Super Size Me is fun to watch and if you accept that Spurlock, like all documentary makers have a point to prove with their work, then you should really enjoy this picture. It might also make you reconsider the next time you're asked to super size.

Grade: A-

Note: I got the opportunity to meet Morgan Spurlock at the DC Film Festival and he is a very cool person.

Czarina's Caustic Comment or Captious Compliment: Spurlock serves up some food for thought, and Mc Donald's for one Isn't Lovin' It.

Super Size Czarina


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