Friday, November 17, 2006

More Fast Food Nonsense

Here's a snippet of the New York Times review of Fast Food Nation.

“Most people don’t like to be told whats for them,” says Bruce Willis in a sly, brilliant, single-scene cameo, and the suspicion that the movie is doing just that may provoke some reflexive resistance.

Which is too bad, because “Fast Food Nation,” while it does not shy away from making arguments and advancing a clear point of view, is far too rich and complicated to be understood as a simple, high-minded polemic. It is didactic, yes, but it’s also dialectical. While the climactic images of slaughter and butchery — filmed in an actual abattoir — may seem intended to spoil your appetite, Mr. Linklater and Mr. Schlosser have really undertaken a much deeper and more comprehensive critique of contemporary American life.

Just because a movie offers a complex storyline and a variety of characters doesn't mean that that the film doesn't manipulate you emotionally to reach certain conclusions. Instead of being just about how fast food is bad for you, the movie is also about how disgusting meat packing plants are, how the fast food industry takes advantedge of it's workers, and how fast food is tied into the American dream- But does that really make the point any better? You can bring up all the complexities you like, but it doesn't make your overall critique any less stupid.

(In fairness- I have not seen the movie, and it may be a well made film- but that still doesn't make it any less stupid.)

Edit 11/17/06 @ 1:52 PM: I've redacted the reference to Crash, which was apparently made in error. However, my primary point still holds- Crash was overrated and manipulative, and Fast Food Nation looks stupid. The New York Times, by the way, which argues that Fast Food Nation isn't a high-minded polemic, carried an add for the film in the paper's online edition. The tagline? "Do you want lies with that?"


Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

Just wanted to point out an error. Paul Haggis directed "Crash" and from his IMDB profile, Richard Linklater directed "Fast Food Nation", as well as "Dazed and Confused" and "School of Rock". From what I can tell from their IMDB profiles, neither man had anything to do with the other man's film. I'm not sure where you got the idea of the same director, but you need to get your facts straight Libertarian.

12:45 PM  

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