Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! Movie Poster Image
Revealing fast-food docu has some language, animal violence.
  • PG-13
  • 2019
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Know what you're eating, and learn how your food is raised, processed, and prepared. Don't be influenced by false advertising about "healthy" food. Don't engage in unfair practices -- and call out employers for doing so.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Spurlock investigates unfair practices of a major industry in America and has defendants in a lawsuit against a big corporation speak about their experiences on camera. The chicken farmers he interviews appear to be honest people who are trying to make a decent living. Spurlock opens a restaurant that promises truth and transparency about its food. Americans appear to willfully ignore important information about food that affects their health.

Violence

Violence to chicks and chickens, which are bred to quickly grow too fat to walk or sprout enough feathers to cover their girth. They're tossed around, vaccinated by a machine with a long needle, killed by being stepped on, prone to breeding-induced heart attacks and broken bones, given autopsies, sent to slaughter at the end of their six-week life.

Sex
Language

Infrequent use of words including "bastards," "f--king," "bulls--t," "s--t."

Consumerism

Lots of brands are seen/discussed, though many are definitely in nonpromotional/unflattering context. Fast-food chains are named and/or visited, including Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Chipotle, Panera, Taco Bell, Papa John's, White Castle, Bubba Gump, fresh&co, Boston Market, Subway. Corporate chicken growers are discussed, including Tyson, Purdue, Koch Foods, Pilgrim's, Sanderson Farms. Spurlock names companies he visits or calls, including banks, creative agencies, innovation labs, law firms. He deals with USDA, Animal Welfare Institute, National Chicken Council, among others.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The film paints fast food, particularly fried fast food, like a drug that's both unhealthy and apparently addictive for Americans, who seem unable or unwilling to cut back.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! has less of a gross-out factor than its predecessor but still serves as an eye-opener about the food, especially chicken, that Americans consume. It's more appropriate, content-wise, for younger viewers who are interested in the topic than other industry exposés, like Food, Inc. or Fast Food Nation. Director Morgan Spurlock exposes the false advertising behind most "healthy" fast food and taste-tests a range of chicken products on the current fast-food market. He also buys and raises his own chickens, a process that involves chicks being thrown around and shot with a long vaccination needle and chickens dying from being stepped on, having heart attacks (discovered in an autopsy scene), and getting sent to slaughter. Profit-seeking corporations come off as untrustworthy. Language includes infrequent use of words including "bastards," "f--king," "bulls--t," etc. -- in this documentary, the "F" word' is "fried."

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User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 16 years old Written byMusiclovergig June 30, 2020

Amazing sequel

The sequel is almost as good as the original.
Kid, 12 years old May 22, 2020

Absolutely unbelievable!

This documentary was absolutely garbage! I'm only 8 and even I can see that! If you want to see a middle aged obese American sell out his first documentary... Continue reading

What's the story?

Best known for Super Size Me -- the 2004 documentary in which he tracked his own physical decline from eating a steady diet of fast food -- Morgan Spurlock returns in SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN! to explore Americans' unhealthy obsession with chicken. Planning to open his own fast-food chain promising healthy food and authentic advertising, Spurlock consults a series of chefs, advertising executives, storytelling experts, and brand strategists. Through them, he learns how much work and planning goes into creating the perception -- though not the reality -- of "healthy" food. Spurlock buys thousands of his own chickens to raise, an enterprise that exposes selective breeding practices of chickens that grow faster and fatter every year (and, as a result, die more regularly from heart attacks and broken hips). In the final scenes, Spurlock opens a restaurant that's entirely upfront, in an unexpected way, about the food it's serving.

Is it any good?

This film won't disappoint fans of Spurlock's first documentary, and his decade-plus of professional evolution between the two movies shows on screen. If you've been eager to see Spurlock step foot in a McDonald's again, this is your chance. Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! is both entertaining and revealing, balancing the documentarian's exposé of the food industry's dishonest practices with a storyteller's gift for making emotional connections. The film keeps a brisk pace from beginning to end, with only a slight lull as Spurlock detours into a series of interviews concerning a lawsuit against the Tyson corporation. Still, he clearly knows when to speed things up, as with lively animated sequences, or slow them down, like an extended scene of chicks hatching to music from The Nutcracker.

Some of the food chains, corporations, and organizations that Spurlock visits won't be too happy with how they're portrayed here; Spurlock borrows from Michael Moore in his occasionally confrontational style. But he does a great job of eliciting potentially shocking information from people without overreacting in the moment. Spurlock fits in as well with Alabama chicken farmers as he does with urban ad executives, and he exploits his own celebrity in publicizing his new venture. The film reveals how easily Americans have been duped by the false "healthy halo" that food companies painstakingly craft through misleading words ("natural," "artisanal"), incomplete information ("free range," "hormone free"), and engineered experiences (manipulative decor, advertising).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! will change their own attitudes toward buying and eating chicken or fast food. Who is responsible for America's health/obesity crisis? What should we do about it?

  • Were you left with any unanswered questions about chicken farming or the fate of Spurlock's restaurant?

  • Spurlock wonders whether anything has actually changed in the quality of fast food in the years since he filmed Super Size Me. Does the answer surprise you?

  • Have you seen other documentaries that investigate the industrial food complex? How do they compare with this one?

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