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Review: Morgan Spurlock is back with ‘Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken’

Morgan Spurlock, ‘Supersize Me 2: Holy Chicken’
Morgan Spurlock in the documentary “Supersize Me 2: Holy Chicken.”
(Samuel Goldwyn Films)

In an industry dominated by franchises, documentaries should theoretically be safe from sequels. However, Morgan Spurlock is back with a follow-up to his successful “Super Size Me,” which includes his return to McDonald’s. It’s like the nonfiction equivalent of the Avengers revisiting the Battle of New York, but with crispy chicken instead of shawarma.

“Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” looks at the current state of fast food, which has changed since — and partially because — Spurlock ate a month of meals at the Golden Arches for his 2004 breakout. Menus tout better-for-you options, but he examines whether there’s really been a shift in what they offer — and what we order. Spurlock starts his own restaurant, choosing a chicken sandwich made from his farm’s birds to appeal to changing tastes.

Like its predecessor, “Super Size Me 2" is largely entertaining, with audience enjoyment varying on their appetite for Spurlock’s fun, smug shtick. Its revelations won’t be new to those who have spent time thinking critically about their food, but the film is most vital when it centers on how the vertically integrated poultry industry is hurting farmers.

“Super Size Me 2" focuses on truth in marketing, with Spurlock’s trademark authenticity highlighted as a potential angle for his restaurant. It’s an interesting choice given Spurlock’s sexual-misconduct confession after this film’s festival premiere in 2017. The theme remains intact here, which might leave a bad taste in viewers’ mouths.

‘Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!'
Rated: PG-13, for brief strong language.

Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Playing: Starts Sept. 6, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills; available Sept. 13 on VOD
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