The number one thing you must ask yourself before embarking on watching Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2017) is: how do you feel about Morgan Spurlock? As is the case with all the Spurlock documentaries I’ve seen, he is front and center in this one – and if you don’t like him, you will likely not like the movie. Fortunately, I tend to find him entertaining, and I often agree with the points he is trying to make – even if they sometimes feel overly contrived within the presentation. Still, his films are often engaging and entertaining, while offering an interesting perspective.
In the rare documentary sequel – which apparently is becoming less rare – Spurlock ponders the impact his film Super Size Me (2004) has truly had on the fast-food industry. Famously, McDonald’s removed the “Super Size” option after the film’s success, though they claimed that it was a coincidence – and looking through the “healthier” options that have been trending over the years seems to imply that maybe his early doc got them running scared. Of course, there are tons of other documentaries about the food industry, and medical facts showing that heart disease is the leading killer in America, which likely added in this trend. Still, Spurlock decides to immerse himself in the fast-food world once again – but rather than as a customer, he makes the choice to become a provider.
It is this change in the format that actually makes Super Size Me 2 a sequel not only to the original but also to his documentary, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011). In that film, he wants to fund the entire film through product placement, and be transparent about the entire process as the subject of the film itself. I actually enjoyed that movie more than Super Size Me, as I am always intrigued by topics of the film industry. That same methodology is applied here, as Spurlock seeks to open his own fast-food chicken franchise. He shows the audience all the stages, from deciding what kind of chicken to sell, how to get the chicken, the terminology and buzz words he’s allowed to use, the farming industry, the lobbying of big chicken, and the marking and branding of his product.
Elements of the film are an infuriating series of revelations about how easily our society is duped to eat unhealthy food in disguise, as healthier options that often cost more than the other bad food they use to sell us. Then there are parts of the film that I’ve seen covered in other documentaries like Food, Inc. (2008), Fed Up (2014), and Sugar Coated (2015). The redundancy of content is not a bad thing, as not everyone will have seen those other documentaries. Additionally, presenting issues that were initially addressed twelve years prior that still exist today only emphasizes the problems.
Super Size Me 2 is available to watch on numerous streaming platforms, and I think it’s worth your time. Even if you don’t agree with what Spurlock is saying, he manages to make his films accessible and entertaining. At least I think he does! Super Size Me 2 earns the Decent Watch rating.