Burnt – just that, not well done

Zero Media

A film where an arrogant bad boy chef comes back into the game of the industry sounds thrilling and like every foodie’s dream. While the food in the film may look delicious, the rest of the film was not up to par.

Bradley Cooper stars as Adam Jones, a charming, bad boy, arrogant, chef earning back respect in the restaurant industry of Europe after he destroyed his career and fled Paris a few short years ago due to problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Jones returns to Europe in London, takes charge as head chef of his old friend Tony’s restaurant with a crew of old and new friends in the industry with plans to make it a three star Michelin rated restaurant and learn a lesson about teamwork along the way.

Not only is the concept of the film a cliché, so are some character relationships. Jones hires Helene (Sienna Miller), a fiery, single mother who, according to Jones, “doesn’t know how good she is” in the restaurant industry, to be his chef de partie. Helene is the only woman working in the kitchen, so naturally a romance brews between the two. On top of their relationship, of course Jones interacts well with Helene’s daughter, which charms her.

The clichés in this film can almost perfectly mirror those from a Hallmark movie.

What is not anything like a Hallmark movie is the script, written by Steven Knight. While the film was written to be a comedic drama, using the F-word at least once in every line does not make a script dramatic. Neither does having the main character scream like an angry Gordon Ramsey in every kitchen scene.

As for the comedy, it gets lost and is only picked up in two or three scenes throughout the film for, at most, a minute at a time. This is surprising to see from Cooper after his role in “The Hangover” series films in which the laughs from the audience flow naturally and often.

Cooper may have not been the best choice to play the role of the bad boy. The poster for the film, which features Cooper in chef’s attire standing in a kitchen doesn’t scream “I’m a bad boy chef,” but instead something along the lines of “I’m a dad chasing his dream of being a chef.” His look simply does not match up with the premise of the role on the poster or in the film itself.

Aside from a confusing actor choice, the film has a confusing ending as well. There are no spoilers here because one basically has to assume what happens at the end. There are no words, just a look, exchanged between Tony and Jones after Michelin reviewers dined at the restaurant. The only person who knows if one’s assumption is correct is scriptwriter Steven Knight.

The film did do a good job of giving the general idea of what it is really like to work in a competitive restaurant kitchen. The violence, anger, and passion that goes into making a restaurant the best is very real for some chefs.

The food coming out of the kitchen also looked amazing, there are no words for it, and any foodie will say that was the best part and even inspiring.

After seeing the previews, one would have expected more. The basic story line of the film was delicious; “it just was not properly executed through the script.” Burnt was the type of burnt where something is still edible but one wouldn’t want to taste it again.