I had a pair of advanced screening passes to Fast Food Nation, so I invited Horace and we went last night to check it out. Fast Food Nation is based on the book by the same name which I had read awhile ago (update: I did blog about it, but didn’t tag it properly); however, it’s not a documentary but rather a scripted drama where they incorporate some of the information and moral lessons of the book.

There are three main plot threads in the movie. One centered around the VP of Mickey’s, a fast food chain in the vein of McDonalds, several Mexican illegal immigrants that make their way across the border in to the wonderful world of America, and an idealistic teenager working at Mickey’s. Of the three, I think the weakest was the last one. It’s design was to spur people to become activists and make a big deal about the issue, but I think the emphasis and time placed on this is unwarranted given that the people who are watching this movie would probably already be aware of this aspect.

The strongest and most compelling story was of the Mexicans. This plotline talked about the desires and dangers of the illegal immigrants, primarily the exploitation of their labour in meat packing. However, I disagree with the movie’s decision to spend the majority of the time on this plot; it was interesting since I am not aware of their plight, and it is definitely an issue in the industry, but it took time out of a lot of issues.

That is the primary problem I had with the movie. The spent so much time making a story that they couldn’t spend time going into detail about the horrors of the industry and why we should take up arms and save some cows. I think they should have stuck with a documentary instead of trying to make it appealing to the American public. I give Fast Food Nation two out of five stars.