Although its future was left uncertain after the filmmaker got involved in a “Time’s Up” controversy, Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, Morgan Spurlock’s newest fast food exposé, is finally seeing the light of day. Another eye-opening and entertaining documentary from Spurlock, this movie is unlikely to have the same impact as its predecessor, but is a meaningful watch regardless.
Whereas the first Super Size Me followed Spurlock as he set about eating a diet of only McDonald’s fast food for a period of one month, Holy Chicken! follows him as he goes on a quest to open a chicken sandwich restaurant, exposing the unethical practices of both the fast food industry and the industrial farming industry.
By this point, there have been enough food documentaries that aim to guilt the audience into not eating animal products, specifically those served by fast food restaurants. Those who were not convinced by earlier films (many of which attempt to pull at the heartstrings more than Spurlock’s movie does), are unlikely to see their minds changed by this.
However, Spurlock’s comedic edge does make the film thoroughly entertaining. Although many have tried, few others but Spurlock have been able to truly nail this combination of goofiness and earnest commentary on the movie’s subject. The result is a film that is easy (almost too easy) to go down despite some of the difficult imagery which you are witnessing.
Although a majority of the focus of this film is on the misleading nature of the fast food industry in marketing their products, there is a portion of the movie which explores the issues of the chicken farming industry. In the film, Spurlock starts his own chicken farm (with assistance from experienced farmers), as a way of showing how immoral the practices of “Big Chicken” are, both in raising their chickens and selling them to consumers.
However, in doing this, Spurlock is himself becoming a part of the problem. Although one could argue that his actions are justified because he is doing it for the greater good, he is still raising these animals in a way that is unethical. Although the end goal is to expose the industry and ultimately cause them to change their practices, is this really the way to go about it? Additionally, the human impact of his “experiment” should be considered, particularly on the farmer and his employees who assisted Spurlock, who now face consequences for speaking out against industry leaders.
Stylistically, the film has all of the hallmarks of a Spurlock movie. There is a ton of energy in the editing and filmmaking, as the film is being made in a way that should be as palatable as possible to wide audiences. Those who are a fan of Spurlock’s previous work are sure to be entertained by this movie, and although newcomers may not be able to take him entirely seriously, his personality will win most over by the end.
Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! is not the most effective exposé on the industrial food industry, but it is one of the most entertaining. Spurlock’s films do seem to have lost that sense of urgency that they used to have, though his sense of humor is always welcome.
Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! opens in theaters on September 6 and hits VOD on September 13.