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film review

Documentarian Morgan Spurlock turns his focus to the chicken industry in the delayed follow-up to his breakthrough Super Size Me.The Canadian Press

  • Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!
  • Directed by Morgan Spurlock
  • Written by Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick
  • Classification PG
  • 93 minutes

Rating:

3 out of 4 stars

Thirteen years after establishing himself as one of the most successful, if divisive, documentary filmmakers of his generation, Morgan Spurlock delivered a sequel to the (fast food) franchise that launched his career. But that was in 2017, and three months after Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival that year, Spurlock wrote a blog post that confessed to numerous acts of sexual misconduct in his past. Now, two years later, the movie is receiving a quieter release.

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In the original Super Size Me, Spurlock spent a month eating nothing but Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and fries (so many fries) in a gonzo experiment that explored the rise of obesity and the power of the fast-food industry, much to the detriment of his own body and the horror of his nutritionist. In the new film, Spurlock does a 180 and actually opens a fast-food restaurant of his own – a chicken-sandwich joint on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio.

The first film proved (if there was any doubt) fast food isn’t exactly good for you; the sequel explores the changes implemented by the industry in the intervening years, from salads and bowls appearing on menus everywhere to cringe-y buzzwords like “artisan” and “organic” that are as empty as the calories they advertise. Spurlock’s main target, though, is “Big Chicken,” which has surpassed beef as America’s favourite flesh.

Vegans and animal lovers might have a tough time stomaching parts of the film: Baby chicks are squished, over-bred mutant chickens suffer heart attacks because they’ve grown so plump, panicked birds are stuffed into cages so they can be taken to the slaughterhouse – hell, there’s even a chicken autopsy. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt like a fried (sorry, “crispy”) chicken sandwich as the credits rolled.

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken is now available digitally