one thing you can say about linklater is that he’s prolific, if not necessarily consistent in quality. i like him because he, like soderbergh, alternates his films – one hollywood, one indie. so for every “slacker” or “a scanner darkly” he has a “school of rock” or “bad news bears.” this one is more towards the latter than the former, but is more in between than most of his films – it’s got a sizable and notable cast (including avril lavigne), it’s playing in theater chains, and it debuted in more theaters than “a scanner darkly” was in at its peak, though it’s no spider-man 2 (which debuted on more than 4,000 screens). here he makes a fictional representation of schlosser’s insightful book by the same name.
what the book had going for it was the following: well-written, it was new, it was credible. the movie lacked those things in many ways. frankly, it came off as a made-for-tv movie in many ways. the entire thrust of the film just works better in documentary or written form. it’s not just that the film didn’t add anything to the book or the discussion as a whole, it’s that it actually detracted from the book. i sorta came away from the film thinking the way bruce willis’ character does in the film; and i know that’s not what was intended. i acknowledge that it’s somewhat of a character flaw within me that i move the opposite direction of prevailing opinion, at times just for the sake of being contrary, but i feel that, in this case, the film incited me towards that. it came off as some what pedantic and presented such a specific and anecdotal set of story lines, that i was really turned off by what was being preached, even though i agree with a lot of it. either you have to be ignorant of what is presented in the film or you have to be really sympathetic to its cause. i was/am neither so it didn’t do it for me. if this is a subject that interests you i would highly recommend reading the book instead. it’s a good book with plenty of good information. it talks about mcdonald’s, monsanto, working conditions, slaughtering conditions, etc. it does everything the film does, only better, with more depth, with greater credibility and more enjoyably. oddly, schlosser co-wrote the film.Watched in theater