Food, Inc.

"OK"

Food, Inc. Review


Though not all that remarkable nor exceptional as far as documentary filmmaking goes, Food, Inc., the new work by Two Days in October helmer Robert Kenner, is nonetheless something I feel would benefit any viewer who hasn't been introduced to the concepts of how agrarian business has mutated over the years. However, it will no doubt find a better home in lecture halls and classrooms than it will in the bustling landscape of arthouse theatergoing.

Navigated by Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan -- the authors of Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma, respectively -- Kenner begins where any concern for the national health does: McDonald's. Briskly showing the rise of the company founders from humble drive-in owners to business-minded economic gladiators, the director offers a quick and easy allegory for the entire food-making and harvesting industry.

Anyone who has read Schlosser's bestselling, invigorating exposé, or for that matter The Jungle, will find Kenner's examination of the beef industry a bit tedious, especially seeing as nothing said here is as galvanizing as the direct admission in Richard Linklater's adaptation of Schlosser's book that "there's always been a little bit of shit in the meat." A similarly supine section involves the question of illegal immigrants and how the U.S. food markets have basically stolen work and a living wage from South America; a topic that deserves a miniseries on PBS rather than a few rushed minutes.

Kenner finds his strength in depicting the disintegration of the farmer's way of life and the stranglehold put on agriculture due to unprecedented legal protection and food demands. At moments, such as seed-supply giant Monsanto's litigation of a small-scale seed cleaner, the film harkens back to the fury and barren depiction of small-town life in Barbara Kopple's urgent classic Harlan County USA. A visit with two chicken farmers -- one willing to buy into the game, the other tired of it -- is perhaps the key moment of realization as they walk into dark, cluttered warehouses to feed and harvest their livestock, rather than out in the sunshine.

A suitably informative cinematic primer for a subject that has been chronicled best (and extensively) in print, Food, Inc. nevertheless has too much on its plate (pun intended). For whatever information it does give during its runtime, there are several questions still left lingering, especially concerning corporate motives. I'd argue that there is a severe lack of counterpoint to this decrying of technological growth and "progress" but, as always, that stiltedness seems more a lack of willingness on the part of the companies to talk than Kenner's. Ironically, these same conglomerates are the ones who will later claim to be vilified by the likes of people like Kenner, Morgan Spurlock, or Michael Moore.

Near the end of this cluttered exposé, before Bruce Springsteen sings "This Land is Your Land" (I wish that was a joke), a corporate officer for Stonyfield Farms, which was recently bought by a multi-billion-dollar corporation, talks about the will of the people to be healthier and how organic farming can be sold as a capitalist concept; later, he smartly correlates the current problems in food manufacturing with the tightening of regulations on cigarettes and tobacco. Ideas like this are few and far between in Food, Inc. but they are the kind that sell not only the film but the film's respectable goals.

Yes you can haz cheezburger.



Food, Inc.

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 21st April 2010

Box Office USA: $4.2M

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Magnolia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 102 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Robert Kenner

Producer: Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein

Starring: Michael Pollan as Himself, as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.