Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Bradley Cooper – Adam Jones
Sienna Miller – Helene
Daniel Brühl – Tony
Alicia Vikander – Anne Marie
Uma Thurman – Simone
Emma Thompson – Dr. Rosshilde
Burnt was – in a word – boring. Quite literally all you’re doing when watching this movie is watching a chef strut and shout his way around a restaurant kitchen. Thrown into the mix is the chef’s love interest who spends most of her time dropping her daughter off at school, and a rival chef who pisses off for half of the movie before being written back in to give the protagnoist chef a pep talk about his career. This is topped with a gay restaurant owner who lusts after the main chef (Cooper) so much, you can practically hear his testicles groaning and swinging as he walks around.
Uma Thurman pops up as restaurant critic Simone, which is a nice – if very random – addition to the cast. Complete with posh British accent (slightly breaking into American, it’s as though she can’t keep up British for very long) she delivers a nicely dry personality and a few funny lines. Sadly, a few lines is all she has before disappearing from the movie. Think Meryl Streep in Suffragette or Lisa Kudrow in Bad Neighbours – in and out. In fact Thurman gets even less screen time than those examples, which is a shame.
I wondered why she of all actresses was cast; it just seemed like a really random cameo. Personal link to the director perhaps? Probably one of those moments a director picks up the phone and says, “Uma, honey, wild night last night. Just wondered – fancy being in my new film for a few seconds for quarter of a million dollars?..”
What I noticed most during Burnt was the sheer lack of culinary enjoyment. Food, basically.
I’ve seen some movies (Chef for example) where the focus on cooking and consuming actually made me hungry. Although I thought Chef (2014) was a load of pretentious shite where I just wanted to slap the over-enthused, cocky dreamer chef, the cooking scenes were great; snapping vegetables, crunching bread, sizzling, dripping, slurping.. it was every chef’s wet dream. I was gagging for a restaurant meal by the end of it.
Burnt contained none of this cookery satisfaction at all. In reverse, it saw Adam Jones mooching around his kitchen shouting at staff with very little focus on the actual food itself. Which was strange, because the man bangs on to everyone about how great a cook he is and how much of an impact he wants his creations to have on people’s tastebuds.. yet viewers are treated to hardly anything edible on screen.
Burnt well and truly lost its way, opening with a charismatic chef who headhunts staff with the promise of success, and then the opening of his kitchen – but swiftly becoming something similiar to an afternoon soap opera where various friends of his vent boring and irrelevant personal issues of their own. It just wasn’t good enough. Cooper does put in a lot of aggressive energy which is highly effective, but the quality of the movie ends there. Burnt became boring.
One bit of the movie irritated me; the scene where it’s Helene’s daughter’s birthday. Adam comes out of the restaurant kitchen with a nice big fancy birthday cake. That the little girl starts to eat – but acts her “yum” reaction before she’s even put the slice of cake in her mouth. She kind of lifts the fork to her lips, and closes her eyes with an expression of satisfaction on her face.. and then slides the cake into her mouth. It was just stupid. I know she’s only little but for fuck sake – the acting was appalling.
The only exciting thing about this movie is the fact one scene was filmed at Billingsgate fish market in London – which is literally across the road from where I was sat watching it in the cinema.
I’ve had enough talking about it. And at just 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, I think that’s enough to sum up how awful Burnt is. This movie is definitely not one of Bradley Cooper’s finest moments, it’s more a middle-fingered salute to the actor from director John Wells.
Burnt literally burnt itself out.
It crashed and burnt.
It was a slow burner.
Do you see where I’m going with this?..
The title is incredibly ironic actually.