Fast Food Nation

Rated 3.0

As I’ve said before, whenever I wanted to take a shot at vegetarianism, I’d watch Babe and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. With this movie, you’ve got a pretty persuasive triple feature. Director Richard Linklater turns the popular non-fiction book into multiple stories involving meat. There are many threads, and while they don’t all reach satisfying conclusions, each of them garner some interest. Greg Kinnear does typically good work as an executive for a McDonald’s-like hamburger chain called Mickey’s, where the head honcho is getting a little anxious because some independent testing has revealed high quantities of shit in their meat patties. Wilmer Valderrama costars as an illegal alien who gets a job hosing down the blood on the “kill floor,” while Ashley Johnson (the little one from Growing Pains) and Avril Lavigne appear as students who hatch a lame scheme to protest the slaughter of cows. Speaking of which, there’s a rather graphic display of real cows getting real killed near the film’s end, so don’t be planning any steakhouse excursions after this one.