In Super Size Me, director/subject Spurlock decides to subject himself to a month-long journey into the heart of culinary hell: he will eat only meals at McDonalds for the entire month. Spurlock has his points to make, obviously, about fast-food and America’s obesity epidemic and public health crisis. Those issues are even more pressing now, over a decade after Spurlock made his film. Spurlock is an engaging figure and the film makes a lot of hard points about the constant diet of fast-food and its detrimental effects on our collective health. The film is occasionally a bit overwrought; it feels a bit like Spurlock is manufacturing drama at times, as when he speaks desperately into the camera at 3 in the morning about suddenly having stabbing chest pains. But then some of the health issues can’t be hand-waved so easily; you can’t fake a gain of twelve pounds in a single week. Then too the film has an odd style with a lot of very weird animated segments and the usage of some very weird pop art that Spurlock seems to love but is really just stupid. But when the film works, it does really work. Late in the film, there’s a genuinely harrowing sequence that takes us inside the operating room during a gastric bypass surgery; it’s as effective a piece of body horror as I’ve seen this year. The film is sometimes, as I say, a bit hokey and stagy, but the ethos of the film still rings true, rings, actually, perhaps a bit more true. It’s still well-worth seeing. Recommended. 3 ½ stars.
tl;dr – documenting the health effects of a fast-food diet, Spurlock gets at issues of public health & obesity in modern America; sometimes hokey or preachy, but the points are certainlymade. 3 ½ stars.