With coffee and bacon trumpeting sandwiches and steaks, for our wallets, the breakfast wars are raging. It’s a free for all, Games of Throne style, between the coffeeshops and fast food joints looking to cut a bigger slice of the pie. And the battlefield has been in the ad space, where Taco Bell recently fired a volley at McDonalds, Cold War-style by teaming up with agency Deutsch LA, to diss McDonalds. The ad, “Routine Republic” portrays McDonalds as a soviet-style regime in clown-face and Taco Bell as Disneyland centred around pseudo-Mexican food instead of cartoon mice. And it’s so blithely earnest in it’s stupidity, you should totally watch it, just to know that Hollywood has been leaking like grease over advertising.
A Greasy Tasting Plot
Cliches are the concrete shoes of any stories, but plotholes that make you think “wait how does that even make sense??”. There’s even a YouTube channel, CinemaSins, where every video is titled “Everything wrong with [insert bad movie] in X minutes or less” and is about every nitpicking a movie could have. The “Routine Republic” also has a combo-sized load of of wrongness, here are my favourites
- “Happiness is eating the same breakfast” even the Soviet Union could think up more cheerful way to describe a gulag
- Hey Taco Bell your hexagonal symbol looks more oppressive than a clown face.
- Really all they had to do to escape was book it? Seriously why didn’t anyone living in the Soviet Union think of that?
- And of course, it only took the two young white attractive people to suddenly spontaneously “inspire” a revolution. Why isn’t real social change that easy?
- What’s with the traffic jam on the middle of the street? Did they send the inventor of the drive-thru to the back for re-education?
- Here’s an idea, let’s arm our Hamburger mines with colourful coins to stop escapees because of logic that comes from of eating hamburgers everyday
- Yah a ball pit barrier, cause the whole carnival theme trumps any effective defences.
There’s more, but with all the plot intricacies of a Michael Bay movie, narrative was left neglected and pulling out hair in frustration.
A Ham-Fisted message
Any good narrative has to support a theme/message, and said theme/message should not be betrayed by the plot itself or reality. Otherwise reactions would be “hey wait a second…”. Visit The Editing Room for every movie that makes you think that. Taco Bell’s analogy of McDonald’s menu and service as rigid and inflexible, is pretty clever. Not subtle, but it almost makes an effective contrast to Taco Bell as the place to be. Almost because um Taco Bell, people don’t associate you with European Hipsters living it up in a medieval castle. They think three-hour clutching a toilet. Why? You sell cheap food, that tastes good, and greases our arteries. Where are you showing that you are different then McDonalds, besides your own delusions? Because the only difference between McDonalds and Taco Bell is a clown versus a chihuahua.
Evoking some shitty pop culture
“The Hunger Games” movie trilogy was great. then again you could probably stick Jennifer Lawrence in Bad Boys 3 and even the critics would say yeah it’s another dumb cop film, but it had Jennifer Lawrence in it so it was alright. The wave of YA dystopian movie adaptations that Hollywood unleashed have been Jennifer Lawrence-less and less than great. However they have had an edible mark for young movie-goers. It’s only natural that Taco Bell would try to draw in the demographics they put up on their promotional material. So naturally the plot is a boy & girl hero pair, living in a dystopian world, escaping from it and it’s kooky oppressive value. It’s the entire YA dystopian genre of teen survival rebellion compressed into three minutes by a grease fryer and resold back to them with a side-order of fries.
For all of it’s flaws however, it still is direct in it’s message (flee to Taco Bell!) and I would still watch a movie of a Soviet-style dystopia where all the guards are clowns.