Title – Burnt (2015)
Director – John Wells (August: Osage County)
Cast – Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Alicia Vikander, Daniel Bruhl, Omar Sy, Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson, Lily James
Plot – Disgraced celebrity chef Adam Jones (Cooper) decides to get his life and career back on track by taking on head of kitchen duties at a fancy London restaurant and sets his sights on achieving a 3rd Michelin star rating.
“People eat because they are hungry; I want to make food that makes people stop eating”
Review by Eddie on 03/03/2016
There wasn’t a singular moment throughout Burnt, a film seemingly designed exclusively to jump on the back of the food craze that for some reason inhabits the world with shows such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, where I couldn’t help but think, who cares?
Such is the lack of likeability in John Wells’ film and the characters that are a part of it, that Burnt becomes an arduous excursion through the heat of Bradley Cooper’s Adam Jones’ kitchen where you’ll find it mightily hard to care about whether or not Sienna Miller’s sauces are up to scratch, whether or not Daniel Bruhl’s waitresses wait tables correctly or whether or not Cooper’s hugely annoying redemption-seeking celebrity chef Jones will get his long desired 3 Michelin star.
There was clearly desires for Burnt to be a feel good hit and thankfully something that never eventuated, an awards player, but Well’s, screenwriter Steven Knight and their talented cast were never going to be able to turn this dreary material into an engaging prospect and its quite evident in the way the films shoddily put together and actors misused (seriously how could recent Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander be so underused?) in roles that neither suite them or feel naturally progressive.
Cooper in particular, who’s recently become one of those easy to like presences struggles most with his role as Jones who has to be one of the most uninviting character creations in some time and as added punishment gets laboured with what just could be the most unintentionally hilarious suicide attempt ever captured in the history of cinema, involving a sheet of Glad Wrap. Never once do we feel like his quest for success it anything more but an arrogance fuelled dream and it’s likely that Jones was based around producer Gordon Ramsay’s real life persona, which didn’t exactly help the film’s causes. Cooper also shares uneasy chemistry with co-stars Miller, Bruhl and Omar Sy and the film gives off a sense that no one was particularly enjoying their time spent in the kitchen.
Unfunny, lacking in heart and generally just unoriginal barring its kitchen setting, Burnt is a film that could be summed up in many a harsh food related analogy and if you could pardon the bun, Burnt is akin to one of your grandmas unappetising stews that seems as though it threw in a lot of left over ingredients to create something that is neither tasty, appealing or hearty. Avoid like an uncooked Mexican street burrito.
1 Burger King lunch out of 5