Super Size Me
Review By: Gringo

Someone needs to tell Michael Moore to shut the fuck up.

Does anyone still buy into that "man of the people, crusading, I'm correct and they're wrong, and it's the far Right's agenda, not myself, that I'm publicizing" persona?

Especially when he lives in a million-dollar penthouse, believes in only one policy: make Michael Moore money, demonizes all Republicans as evil creatures prowling the night and deliberately makes himself the focus of a supposed documentary about someone else?

I've seen this prick in person and was amazed how hard he tried to hide his real bully-boy personality under a cloud of repeated (and fabricated) stories about how Bush is nasty, Bush smells of poo and 68% of Americans agree on that!!!!

The idiots taken in by this fat joker are probably the same people who think Super Size Me is a fair and balanced look at the problem of how Americans are so ashamed at how fat and greedy they've become but too gutless to blame themselves that they focus on the easy target: the big, bad corporation.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. This review is about said movie and not Moore's latest fact/fiction crossover, Fahrenheit 9/11. I mention that obese cretin because both very fat people and "documentary" makers taking on corporations are recurring themes in Super Size Me.

Now, just like that fat ginger-haired cunt who runs the Ain't It Cool News website, I'll set the scene for how I felt before sitting down to watch this film.

I was in Los Angeles, home it would appear of many fat people. The cinema I watched this in was inside some mall, directly opposite a food court offering plate after plate of high-calorie, fat-infested junk. Any hopes this film's makers had of turning people off fast food with the poster - featuring the narrator and a mouth crammed full of fries - were dispelled by the fact that people staring at it were gorging on triple-cheese, quadruple-bacon burgers. Hold the lettuce.

The cinema was pretty crummy. The seats were wobbly and there was a funny smell that kept returning throughout the show. Add to this the fact that directly across the aisle from me was a guy who ate his popcorn so loudly I thought MUNCH MUNCH was part of the film's narrative. Finally, there were three geeks from some college, sitting together giggling like those three nerds Homer Simpson meets when he goes back to school. Although one of them said, "Is this factual? Or is it like Mike Moore?" which I have to applaud.

Anyway, after some ridiculous trailers (Catwoman could possibly be the worst movie ever made) I finally got to see Super Size Me. Oh, goody!

It's the story of Morgan Spurlock, a man with laughable facial hair who decides for no particular reason to eat nothing but fast food for 30 days. Not just any fast food though, he singles out McDonalds. For what reason? Because they offer a "super size" version. Never mind the fact Burger King offers King-size portions for a surcharge. I guess Make Me A Fatter Fucking King Than Henry VIII didn't have the same appeal.

Spurlock limits his diet for the month to the items on McDonalds' menu. His theory being that, hey, maybe eating all that garbage and doing no exercise might be bad for you! There's one big flaw with this logic: no-one eats like this, not even the guy who is interviewed because he eats a Big Mac or two every day. No attempt was made to explore Big Mac guy's exercise and other dietary intakes.

Somehow, Spurlock manages to convince a nutritionist and two doctors to monitor his progress during the month. Guess what? They don't have good news! The fast food makes his cholesterol levels rocket upwards and most of the time our narrator feels groggy, only picking up when he eats the food. There's a lazy attempt to draw parallels with drug addiction, but they're not successful.

Part of the reason all his ideas fail to catch on are that the fundamental premise of this movie is a sham. Spurlock seems to be advocating personal responsibility doesn't matter anymore. Instead of examining what it is about modern culture that makes people so greedy they feel they can eat, and eat, and eat, he puts all the blame on fast food companies for providing the outlets for that eating. Well, one company in particular: McDonalds.

From the start, Spurlock repeatedly claims "This movie isn't about McDonalds!" while chowing down on Ronald's nuggets and fries. Sure…

Spurlock might as well have stapled a big McSign to his McForehead letting the McAudience know that he's McLying, because other fast food chains get less than two minutes' look-in in a 96-minute film. To use percentages - a classic Michael Moore tactic meant to make figures seem more important than they are - that's 98% of the film focused on McDonalds and McDonalds alone!

In one interview about Super Size Me, he said: "My target in the film wasn't McDonalds. I chose McDonalds because it's an icon. McDonalds is iconic of the problem, McDonalds is iconic of the lifestyle. Also it's the leader."

Yeah, right. You chose McDonalds because it's the easiest one to make fun of. Burger King also offers children toys with their meals, Pizza Hut also claims to offer a healthy salad bar, and Ronald ain't the only guy to stick a children's play site next to the dining area. I'm no cheerleader for big corporations (the skirt and pompoms are just so not me, sister), but to single one out in such a lopsided manner is misguided at best.

If Spurlock wants us to view his film in a fair and balanced way and draw our own conclusions, he should give us more choice than deciding between (a) McDonalds is a soulless devil pit that wants to make you fat and rapes your babies and (b) McDonalds is criminally irresponsible, and maybe some other companies are too. It's the cinematic equivalent of having a camera in the courtroom when those two obese girls tried to sue Ronald for making them fat, except there is no defence counsel, because they've been devoured.

What should happen is this: a camera crew should follow around any fat bastard contemplating launching a lawsuit against a fast food corporation. They should record the constant indulgent snacking, the lack of exercise, the complete disregard for personal appearance and incessant greed. It takes effort to open a restaurant door, you know, so it's not like these fatties are on a McDonalds auto-pilot. They make a conscious decision to gorge themselves, they don't deserve a payout for doing it.

Fat people: listen to me (get the reference?) and don't try and compare your expanding waistlines with the filthy lungs of smokers. For a long time, the tobacco companies promoted smoking as a healthy lifestyle choice and said it would do wonders for you. They deserved to get sued and shell out mind-blowing amounts of compensation for this.

By contrast, McDonalds doesn't promote its burgers, nuggets or fries as having super-positive health benefits. Besides, unlike with smoking - which most people once thought wasn't that bad - practically everyone knows a Big Mac isn't a nutritious delight. Anyone who says they thought fast food was good for them is either stupid or lying. Ignorance is no defence in law, nor should it work in support of it. If they're lying, the devious fat fucks should be fined for wasting court time.

But Spurlock doesn't touch on this. He mentions the obese girls' court case in passing towards the start of the film, then goes on to carry out his "wacky" eating experiment. The problem is that you won't come away from Super Size Me feeling that you know anything you didn't when you went in. It doesn't break new ground, and the lack of responses from even so much as a McDonalds spokesperson makes this effort seem horribly one-sided.

Spurlock also seems to take exception with the fact that posters detailing the nutritional value of every item on the McDonalds menu can be very hard to find. Sometimes the restaurant doesn't even have any. Shame!

There's a simple answer to this: if you're looking for the carb and calorie count of a burger, it's a pretty safe bet you know what sensible eating is all about, and don't need to consult said sheet in the first place. Seriously, when was the last time you heard an obese person ponder how many grams of fat were in that whole hog they just ate?

Ultimately this movie plays like one big childish dare. It's as if someone said to Spurlock "bet you can't live off McDonalds!" and he's slapped his forehead, screamed with joy and wondered why he didn't think of that. I wouldn't mind so much if this had been done in an entertaining way, but at the very basic, the bulk of the film is about watching a thin, pasty guy eating fast food. And vomiting, once.

Now, I could have gone the whole review without mentioning Michael Moore. But if Spurlock can use the lie that "hey, this singling out is because the people I'm targeting are industry leaders!" I can do exactly the same for these so-called documentaries. Just like Moore's movies, Super Size Me suffers from the critical flaw of going nowhere fast after about 30 minutes.

From the third or fourth day, when the audience has had it explained and graphically shown to them that this kind of diet isn't wise, the question is: what's the point? Why bother telling us over the course of another twenty-five days why the diet continues to be no good? And why, if Spurlock's so concerned about fast food and its influence on children in particular, does he arrange a party at McDonalds - with lots of kids in attendance - to celebrate his last day on the diet?

You'd expect a documentary to answer questions, or at least leave some serious questions unanswered. Super Size Me doesn't raise or answer any. The only question it touches on is where to draw the line between personal responsibility and corporate irresponsibility. But even here, when you're focusing on just one corporation, it's impossible to provide a satisfactory, balanced answer.

It's not fair to recommend this movie even as light entertainment. The concept behind it runs out of steam fairly quickly, and as far as personal development goes, just how emotionally involving can it be to watch a guy who doesn't really like fast food that much aim to show that fast food isn't really that good for you? Sadly, the one question that could have made this film compelling - and tied it in to another, aforementioned "documentary" makers' efforts - never gets asked...

Why is Michael Moore so fat?


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