Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken is filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s sequel to his critically acclaimed original first film Super Size Film where he examined and consumed McDonald’s for thirty days which resulted in negative effects to his mind and body, but this time around he’s all about the chicken. Spurlock is still as unflinchingly direct to his interviewees and informative as the first film. The timing of this film’s release is justifiable due to it releasing last September in the US when the Popeye’s chicken craze swept news headlines during the last two months of the summer. I viewed this film free on YouTube so check it out before payment is attached to it. Anyways, in this sequel, Spurlock displays to viewers the operations, unfairness and misleading information that’s given to consumers such as how the chickens are handled and the labels placed on packages for consumption. To clarify I’m sure whenever you’ve been to a supermarket you’ve seen labels on chicken packages such as “Free-range”, “Cage Free”, “No Hormones”, “Humanely raised” and more which has influenced your decision to purchase it, but it always begs the question how accurate are these claims? We live in times now that organic foods are a trend and this alternative eating lifestyle has influenced chicken manufacturing companies on how to cater and appease consumers in exchange for consistent consumption and loyalty. Matter of fact, the USDA that’s responsible for developing and executing laws related to farming, agriculture, and food doesn’t have the efficient funding and cannot afford to test everything, so they sometimes don’t. If the USDA vouches the safety of the Big Chicken producers that farm and breed chicken for food then they will put that stamp of approval with those mentioned tag line labels to consumers and the cycle will continue until it reaches oblivious consumers and that’s why Morgan Spurlock went on another journey to reveal his discoveries these corporations want to conceal.
Spurlock teamed up with chicken farmers in Alabama to breed chickens from birth to the time they were sent to be butchered for consumption. Seeing it’s process from the beginning to the end was intriguing and vegetarians, vegans, and PETA would understand and witness that even with the right amount of nurture there are always causalities on farms and at times it can be brutal. Nevertheless, the chickens Spurlock helped raised held a purpose and the end goal was for consumption to the public. In addition, he heard stories from other farmers than the ones he worked with and their disdain towards Big Chicken. Big Chicken produces 99% of all poultry in the U.S. and is made up of five companies; Tyson, Pilgrims, Sanderson farm, Koche foods, and Purdue. Furthermore, Big Chicken dictates all the aspects when it comes to how chickens are grown and raised and they’ve even created a tournament system that pits chicken farmers against each other and compensates them according to the results they’ve produced. These results need to be adequate and to the standards of Big Chicken’s formula. For example, the grower that has the best bird gets the top pay. Jonathan Buttram the farmer Spurlock worked with compared Big Chicken to the likes of the Mafia as they don’t want farmers to disclose pertinent information that should not out be in the public because it will deter consumers from ever buying their products again and the backlash they’ll receive will damage their reputation but to be honest I feel the reputation of the farmers is more important because the tournament system is rigged because issues that can be corrected are not given a chance too. Big Chicken doesn’t care if a farmer happened to get sick birds, or the female chicks won’t grow, Big Chicken will say to those farmers tough luck and move on to the next farmer with no questions asked and this to farmers is unfair. Farmers have no input on how they can correct any problems that arise from inspection and an outspoken farmer will be blackballed and Big Chicken can even retaliate on their farm’s future.
What I found interesting about the first film compared to the sequel is that in the first film Spurlock is taking viewers on a journey of excessive consumption and this added an element of suspense and intrigue as we witnessed his highs and lows throughout his experiment. On the other hand, in the sequel, Spurlock is a participant and collaborator with chicken farmers and dives in so to speak within the fast-food industry. He cultivates the landscape for his chickens to be breed for meat and goes on to open Holy Chicken a restaurant in Columbus Ohio that feeds the public instead of himself with delicious crispy chicken. Overall the film isn’t as groundbreaking and memorable as the first film but I perceive it as an upgrade as Spurlock is on the opposite end aiding chicken farmers while acquiring a temporary farm to grow a flock of chickens for consumption, educating viewers the deceitful ways Big Chicken uses their power over chicken farmers, and ultimately opening his chicken restaurant. There were some funny moments and one of them that stood out to me was when Spurlock was trying to acquire a chicken farm and one man he tried to get help from recognized his name as the guy who made Super Size Me and chastised not only McDonald’s but a plethora of fast-food chains. This man tried to prevent Spurlock from purchasing a farm since he probably thought this guy (Spurlock) might be bad publicity and long story short he was never seen on camera to explain his issues with Spurlock. I know this was a long post but if you have made it this far thank you and I hope you gained some insight about the chicken farm industry and food industry as a whole because it’s a shady business. As I said earlier in the post check out the film on Youtube as it still free to watch but it does have ads. Hey, that’s the problem with free stuff there’s always a price you’ll have to pay even if it’s not monetary. Anyways leave and like and comment if you feel the need too and give my page a follow so you can stay up to date for future posts. Peace and keep it real.
My rating for the film: 3.5/5 B+