Director Richard Linklater
Starring Greg Kinnear, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Film *** Extras n/a
Having noshed a burger before tucking into Richard Linklater’s meat-industry exposé (based on Eric Schlosser’s bestseller), Lounge was grateful that the harshest slaughterhouse carnage is saved for its dying minutes. It’s just a pity the preceding multi-threaded narrative is only palatable rather than lip-smacking. The book documents the journey from farting cow to grilled patty – and all its social/environmental fallout – with stomach-flipping precision. Linklater loses its zing by focusing on some (albeit personable) human cogs in the mincing machine. Some lazily drawn characters should have gone the way of bovine bloodspill, but Greg Kinnear’s affable burger-brand mouthpiece compels, as do the abused Mexican illegals risking limb and soul in the processing plants. Aside from that cattle-hacking finale, what really races the pulse is Bruce Willis’ cameo as a ruthlessly pragmatic wheeler-dealer. Bonus interviews and behind-the-scenes footage unavailable at press time.