Food, Inc. Review
Food, Inc., which opens this Friday, is basically a dull movie version of Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation: It reveals some of the disgusting details behind the food industry, ranging from the foul conditions in a chicken farm to the overbearing business practices that agriculture giants force on their clients. This is achieved partially through semi-gruesome imagery and partially through scary and/or sad ideas.
This is an important issue, and I’m glad that people like Robert Kenner (who directed the film) and Schlosser (who starred in the film and co-produced it) are making noise about it. Our food system is really messed up, and the government and the industry need to get their act together. (One of the best things I’ve ever done online — after reading Fast Food Nation in ’02 — was joining the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service food recalls listserv. More on that another time.)
But the problem with Food, Inc. is that it’s just not a very interesting or entertaining film — and I’m even into this stuff. Even at 93 minutes, it felt like it dragged on for twice as long. Everything from the photography to the narration to the interviews to the facts presented were pretty… average. Perhaps I’m desensitized, or not a first-time learner, but nothing seemed particularly compelling, scary, amusing, or memorable.
Kenner might frighten a few people away from ground beef for a while, or sell a few tubs of organic yogurt. But Food, Inc. isn’t going to be a must-see film, and isn’t going to change the food industry.
Here’s the trailer: