Burnt movie full length review - Great for People that Take Themselves Way too Seriously
Honestly, the trailers for this film really didn't do anything for me. I know people take their cooking seriously sometimes, but I saw that trailer and I actually started laughing to myself.
I just couldn't take so much drama over something as mundane as preparing food. At least, it's something I don't take very seriously but the movie did a great job of explaining why these characters are so obsessed with it and why I was having trouble understanding all the passion. It's true that they're chefs, but they're also artists. So, I was able to get over that hurdle in my mind but the film still has a few issues that keep it from being great. It's a decent movie though and is worth a watch if you're a fan of people taking themselves way too seriously. Let's get to the plot.
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once one of the world's greatest chefs but went into seclusion after some self-destructive behavior tarnished his reputation. After a few years of sobriety, he decides to get back into the fine dining world by coercing, er..., convincing a former colleague of his named Tony (Daniel Bruhl) to let him cook in his restaurant and assemble his own team of top notch chefs. Adam has a bit of an obsession with obtaining the third Michelin star for a restaurant that he cooks in. So, he has a restaurant and a great team backing him up but Adam doesn't exactly play nice with others and his desire for perfection are the biggest obstacles in his way towards making his dream come true.
The cast is actually pretty good in this film and they help to make the movie as watchable as it is. Bradley Cooper shows off quite a bit of passion as Adam, and a little insanity. That's not really fair, he's not insane as much as he's completely obsessed with being considered one of the best chefs in the world. He comes off likable one minute and the next he's just bonkers and yelling at everyone. He reminds me a lot of Gordon Ramsay, except even harder to work with. Next, we have Helene played by Sienna Miller. She's also a very good chef and brings her talents (after some coercion) to help Adam in his new restaurant. She's also the love interest of the picture. Miller does a fine job and I believe her passion for cooking but I had trouble taking the budding attraction between them seriously. Yeah, they both like to make food but the chemistry just didn't convince me.
Daniel Bruhl does a great job as the restaurant's owner Tony. He obviously cares very deeply for Adam and wants him to get back on his feet but he also doesn't want to put up with a lot of unnecessary drama in his restaurant. I'm actually surprised how much this character was willing to bend over backwards for Adam. The last character I want to mention is Reece played Matthew Rhys. This guy, along with Adam, are the reasons I had trouble taking the story seriously. They're like arch-rivals that both make good food but they don't want each other to succeed. Their rivalry serves to make both of them better chefs but the hissy fits they throw are way too over the top for me to take seriously. Still, Rhys is another great actor and he does a great job throwing those hissy fits.
I enjoyed the movie but the pacing felt a little weird too me. The film is directed by John Wells, and I'm honestly not a fan from what I've seen. Some scenes play out at breakneck speed when we really could have used some more explanation and other scenes just drag on to nowhere. I thought some more consistency overall would have been nice. I did enjoy the story more then I thought I would, even if it's nothing new. Basically, a guy pursues a dream of glory and finds out there are more important things in life, like friends and family. Like I said, nothing new but the story was still interesting and I couldn't help but smile at the resolution.
Overall, the movie is enjoyable but it has a few major problems that keep it from being a truly great film. The pacing is all over the place but the actors do a decent enough job with their performances that it's not a complete waste of time. If you're a big fan of cooking shows and movies then I would recommend giving it a shot.