Supersize Me

Dir: Morgan Spurlock
2004
Supersize Me is not just a metabolism-killing stunt documentary,
like a socially conscious Jackass. Sure, the mainstream media focues on Spurlock’s less than scientific study, and picked holes in it, which he readily admits in the film. But surrounding this stunt is the real meat (ha ha) of the movie, which is a long-overdue broadside against the American food industry, and the government’s complicity in keeping the industry’s profits up. As with Fahrenheit 9-11, the media opted to not follow up on Spurlock’s findings, though he certainly gives publicity to a number of interesting stories: the horrific school lunches that the average student eats (and the one school that cooks everything from scratch); the amount the food/grocery/brand name industry spends on lobbyists that essentially keep any healthy legislation from being passed. In fact, it’s this last point that is the biggest culprit in the whole game. Capitalist entities will do anything to increase profit–they are amoral by design. It’s the role of government (we should think) to curtail their excesses, but that so rarely happens.
As an entertaining documentary it works, not just because of the gross out masochism on display, but Spurlock’s winning, friendly manner. He’s doesn’t start out as angry and ready to make accusations. But like his doctors, he can’t believe how badly his MickeyD’s diet starts to affect him, and we’re they’re with him.
The DVD contains a few bonus scenes, nothing amazing, but a separate mini film of watching these fast foods decompose is fascinating. And as you might have heard, while the Big Macs and Quarter Pounders turn into putrescent jelly, those magical fries keep their shape and color long into the third month. Ewwww.
By the way, brave Mr. Spurlock has a blog.

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