Friday, 22 July 2011

Super Size Me Review

I felt guilty for badmouthing this movie without seeing it in my review of Frekonomics last night.  So I got a copy and decided to watch it.  Then, I could actually give an opinion with some credibility.  After watching it this afternoon, I do have to admit that I was a bit misinformed on the whole thing and that it isn't as extreme as I thought.  However, i was not that far off on my assessment of Morgan Spurlock's work.

It isn't necessarily an attack on McDonald's.  It is a challenge to the fast food and grocery industries to be more responsible.  The vehicle of eating only McDonald's comes from a judge's ruling in a case against the company that challenges whether or not eating their food causes obesity and the problems that come with it.  That being said, the premise is still ridiculous.  Spurlock even says that McDonald's refers to people who eat there only once per week are Heavy Users.  He was eating there 21 times per week.  Only an idiot would think that you could eat only McDonald's and not almost kill yourself.

It also wasn't as sensationalistic as I thought it would have been.  On that, I will admit I was wrong.  it is a very compelling look at the industry and Spurlock does make some very good arguments.  However, like Michael Moore did in Fahrenheit 9/11, Spurlock makes mention of some irrelevant things to push his argument and a documentary will lose a lot of credibility with me when that is done.  Two examples stick in my mind and paint a good picture of this.  First, he says that the same company that supplies food to schools also supplies it to prisons.  This was done in a tone that would suggest it is a bad thing.  Who cares?  Is it ok to give prisons subpar food?  If you supply prisons does that make you an evil company?  It was a completely irrelevant message.  Second, he refers tot he artist that painted a lot of the "evil Ronald McDonald" paintings as an "Artistic Genius."  That is giving your own opinion and pushing your own agenda and that has no place in a documentary.  There are numerous examples like this that make the film lose a lot of credibility with me.

Ultimately, I would say don't see it.  It is an hour and a half of an argument that common sense should have already given to you.  But I will say that it isn't as extreme in the sensationalistic attitude that I thought it would be.  It does have a bit of an air of "holier than thou" to it but not as much as I would have assumed.

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