In the late 80s, McDonald’s decided to venture into the film industry by producing their ever first motion picture. For no apparent reason, they came up with an idea to make a movie loosely inspired by Steven Spielberg’s beloved classic, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” A trailer showed Ronald McDonald talking to the audience he’s making his film debut in “Mac and Me.” Prior to release, Mcdonald’s arranged a deal with Orion Pictures to gross revenue for “Ronald McDonald House Charities.” Kinda like Paul Newman’s non-profit company, “Newman’s Own.”
Mac and Me was released in 1988. (same year Beetlejuice came out) It was critically panned by critics and failed to recoup expenses only making $6.4 million. Not enough to pay off half the budget. Which is approximately $13 million. What’s worse, they didn’t make a huge portion to their charity. UGH! Ronald wishes he can be Paul Newman, but he isn’t an Oscar winning legend and humanitarian. The movie went on to earn two Razzie Awards for “Worst Director” (Stewart Raffill) and Ronald McDonald was awarded for “Worst New Star.” It’s shocking Mac and Me lost worst picture to “Cocktail.” At least this one isn’t painfully excruciating. McDonald’s cancelled a sequel and future plans for Ronald McDonald to star in future projects. OUCH! Overtime, Mac and Me gained a cult following as one of those so bad it’s good movies.
The reason why I wanted to review Mac and Me, is because my friend, Iain discussed with me about MGM’s box office bombs over the years as well as Amazon Prime now owns the company. Due to many flops ranging from the late 80s to the early 2000s, the company forced themselves to find a new home. Sony bought the rights as a joint production subsidiary in 2004 to begin the first installment of the James Bond series known as “Casino Royale.” Six Years Later, MGM filed for bankruptcy. Before “No Time to Die” came out in November 2021, Amazon acquired MGM for $8.45 billion. Anway, my conversation with Iain motivated me to look back at some forgotten MGM films from the past and introduced them to a whole new crowd whether they hold up or not. I accepted the request to review 20+ films related to MGM’s films that flopped at the box office in order to make wave for Amazon Prime’s full responsibility to look after MGM’s franchises including James Bond, “Rocky,” “The Pink Panther,” “The Addams Family” and its subsidiaries, United Artists and Orion Pictures.
I’ve restructured my previous reviews that are flops. Mac and Me is the sixth entry of MGM’s box office bombs.
I don’t care if SPOILERS are listed. This movie is a cluster fudge that doesn’t deserve to exist.
Preserved & Expired Qualities
Preserved: A then unknown Jennifer Aniston appears as an extra sitting on the curb outside McDonald’s. I don’t blame her partaking in this piece of crud. We all gotta start somewhere in show biz, until you make a name of yourself.
The infamous wheelchair falling off a cliff scene became a popular joke. Whenever Paul Rudd appeared on Conan O’Brien’s talk show to promote a movie, he always pulls a prank on the audience showing the scene.
Only good technical aspect is Alan Silvestri’s soundtrack. Back in 1988, he also composed “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”
One funny moment that made me laugh is Mac’s dad grabs a cop’s gun, fires recklessly at the government agents. Then, he accidentally causes an explosion.
Expired: I know today’s Computer Animation wasn’t around back then, but the Special Effects are painfully atrocious. Mac and his family are butt ugly to look at. It’s as if Patrick from SpongeBob drew the alien design and dares anybody to “LOOK AT IT!” If you have no idea what I’m saying, it’s a reference to that one episode with SpongeBob who has bad breath. He thinks he’s ugly. Episode is called, “Something Smells.”
A Dance Sequence at McDonald’s felt unnecessary. It keeps going and going like a turtle crossing a road as many drivers are impatient.
Although Ronald McDonald makes an appearance, his role is tiny. In the trailer, he introduced movies goes a trailer for the movie, but he only shows up an hour later. Talk about false advertising your mascot in a big movie!
I didn’t laugh (except Mac’s dad recklessly) at every single joke.
I never cared about every single character. I just wanted this movie to end as quickly as possible! Unlike E.T. it lacks a compelling chemistry between the boy in a wheelchair and Mac.
During the wheelchair falling off a cliff scene, you can tell it’s a dummy.
Production value is very low. This isn’t a high-quality independent film. This is a cheaply made film you buy at a dollar store.
The only way Mac and his family can survive from dehydration, is to consume Coca-Cola. Let me get this straight. Aliens are from a planet that produces soda, but they never create their own brand of Coke. The more I watch, the more this movie insults my intelligence.
The Aliens are so dumb they didn’t stay in the van. They enter a supermarket without realizing there’s too many witnesses.
This movie is notorious as an example of Product Placement (Pee Pee for short) overindulging McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Besides them, more brands such as Skittles, Sears, Dos Equis, Coor’s, Planters, Otter Pops and Brawn are spotted.
Before the movie ends, Mac and his family dress up in attire like a family from the 50s. Upon watching, I rolled my eyes.
The Final Scene shows Mac blowing a bubblegum saying, “We’ll be back!” Oh jeez, Arnold Schwarzenegger can say it better!
The Final Verdict: F, FOR FAKER!
As I’ve mentioned before, Mac and Me is a cluster fudge that doesn’t deserve to exist! It deserves to be buried alongside E.T. on Atari! If you wanna see a legit homage to Steven Spielberg’s works, I highly recommend “Super 8.” McDonald’s should stay in their comfort zone as a fast-food franchise, not a film production. I want them to bring back their buttermilk chicken tenders.