Good intentions prove as fulfilling as a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is nutritionally in "Fast Food Nation," director Richard Linklater's tricky fictionalization of Eric Schlosser's nonfiction muckraking look at the suspect industry practices that go into making America's McFood.
Remember how Morgan Spurlock's documentary "Super Size Me" was informative and fun? "Fast Food Nation" is neither. It begins with Greg Kinnear, playing a marketer for a burger chain, being told their meat is contaminated with cow feces, so he goes on the hunt to find out how. Midway through, the story is dropped entirely in favor of other threads, involving immigration and activism.
With an uneven cast "? for every Bruce Willis or Ethan Hawke, there's a Wilmer Valderrama or Avril Lavigne "? the stories fail to engage the viewer. And when the film ceases to become a film altogether and chooses to preach "? without subtlety "? you'll want to ditch it like the slaughterhouse workers do bovine intestines.
Just as a wrapper after a ketchup-loaded combo meal, this flick is a total mess. Extras include some bizarre animated "Matrix" parodies starring a pig and a commentary and documentary that remind you how better off you'd be re-reading Schlosser's engrossing book.