‘Burnt’ Has Mixed Reviews

‘Burnt’ leaves a strange taste in the viewers’ mouths, so be sure to check out this interesting piece starring Bradley Cooper.

‘Burnt’ features Bradley Cooper as infamous cook.

Despite the type of fast-paced lives that contemporary society forces down our throats, good food does take time. Every sauce, every seasoning and every secret ingredient needs to be perfectly aligned in order to create the best dining experience possible. Ironically enough, Burnt, this week’s newest arrival to your local movie theater, feeds us ingredients that are disproportionate and sloppy, leaving the audience hungry for more.

Burnt follows world-renowned chef Adam Stone on his quest to win back Europe’s love and adoration, especially after his excessive drug-use, alcoholism and womanizer-persona lead many to believe in his sudden death three years beforehand. With help from restaurant owner Tony, apprentice chef Helene, rival chef Reece and the knowledge given to him by his deceased mentor, Jean-Luc, Stone works to win over the restaurant critics’ approval with three Michelin stars. This way, he can open a new restaurant in Paris, where his reputation peaked in the first place. 

Chef in hotel or restaurant kitchen cooking
© Arne9001 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

This journey to the top of the food chain sounds as clichéd and unappetizing as it actually is. Critically-acclaimed actor Bradley Cooper creates a stereotype out of Adam Stone, presenting him as this lovable, yet troubled tragic hero of sorts. However, in truth, Stone just comes off as a jerk with a ladle and way too many unresolved childhood issues. The audience begins to enjoy Stone’s presence a bit more by the final moments of the film because Bradley Cooper gave the character a dynamic, rounded-out lifeline. Like Siena Miller as Helene, Matthew Rhys as Reece and Alicia Vikander as Anne Marie (Jean Luc’s daughter), Cooper creates a third dimension with the flat character presented to him. This is what makes the 101-minute running time even remotely worth your spare change.

In essence, this restaurant thriller runs on an imbalance of film techniques, whether it be the excessive amount of food close-ups or the weird pacing of the film (as an after-effect of such skewed editing). Yet, what really leaves a burnt taste in your mouth is more from the lack of creativity in a story with so much potential. Steven Knight’s script adds nothing special to the plot, building on dramatic elements almost at a comedic level. Think Lethal Weapon meets Ratatouille, and you have yourself exactly what it sounds like: something you’ve seen before.

Overall, Burnt is a representation of the creative dishes that director John Wells spends a third of the movie trying to show the audience. The food only appears to be delicious from the outside. However, we will never truly know how delectable or irresistible Adam Stone’s cooking really is on a subjective, visceral level. That being said, Adam Stone might appear to have layers of depth beyond what we see as an audience. Yet, from what I’ve seen, it’s all just kitchen scraps.

Burnt is playing locally in and around Montclair! Some theaters include Bow Tie Bellevue Cinema 4 in Montclair, AMC Clifton Commons 16, and even AMC Essex Green Cinema 9 in West Orange. For a list of other theaters/showtimes, visit fandango.com today!

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