Monkey Reviews

Through the Eyes of A Chimp

Monkey Reviews
June 9, 2007
“FAST FOOD NATION” - Chimp says “No more Bushmeat”

From the director of Scanner Darkly and Waking Life comes “Fast Food Nation”. Unlike these other two movies, this newest one contains no Sci-Fi Futuristic elements, no stylized animation, no melding of alternate universes and yet in the end there is something vaguely similar. Richard Linklater, the director, has left his imprint and like the other two movies he has created a critique of society. “Fast Food Nation” is about the objectification of humanity and animals, the meaninglessness of consumerism which, try as it might, is unable to offer any hope and vision for its citizens. The picture it portrays is one of isolation and usury, at many different levels, in the midst of a nation that promises material bliss and unending opportunity. By this, I don’t mean to say the movie comes across nihilistic or self-indulgent. In fact he offers an alternative that gives the viewer another way of looking at reality. The alternative is not overt nor does it come across in any way “preachy” or ideological. It is more a message that is implied and subtle to the point that if you aren’t looking for it you might miss it.

While the statement this movie makes has much gravitas, it is also a simple movie about real people caught in a machine all we Westerners are caught up in. No one has the answer and no one is morally superior; it’s just that some of the characters have a dawning on their consciousness that make reality a little more hard to live with and their eyes are opened to a different dream.

What could have been a run of the mill documentary or an ideological rant, “Fast Food Nation” is a movie that is evocative and character driven. There is a deep sadness to the fact that the American Dream has ended up such a nightmare; for some more than others. It takes a wise storyteller to give both judgement and compassion, to paint a picture where the line between oppressor and oppressed is blurred and not one-dimensional. “Fast Food Nation” is such a story.

Rating: For those who are at all entertaining vegetarianism, Fast Food Nation makes a sound and solid case. There will be no more drive-through bushmeat for Chimp.