These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
To be honest, I didn’t have much interest in seeing this movie. First of all, I have grown tired of Bradley Cooper. Don’t get me wrong, man’s a great actor, and a great man what with his backing Jennifer Lawrence on her equal treatment in Hollywood thing she’s been up to. But as good of an actor as he can be, he doesn’t really change up the roles he’s given, making him a less annoying Vince Vaughn or Adam Sandler. I didn’t have any expectations that this role would be any different. But, I work in the restaurant industry and interact with kitchen staff frequently, so maybe that’s what got me to buy a ticket. Anyway, I got something to say about it, y’all know the drill.
Starring: Bradley Cooper (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR , GUARDIANS 2 , WAR DOGS , JOY , and the upcoming A STAR IS BORN ), Sam Keeley (THE CURED , MEGAN LEAVEY , ANTHROPOID , IN THE HEART OF THE SEA , and the upcoming PEACE ), Sienna Miller (THE LOST CITY OF Z , LIVE BY NIGHT , and the upcoming THE CATCHER WAS A SPY ), and Omar Sy (TRANSFORMERS 5 , INFERNO , JURASSIC WORLD , and upcoming films ARCTIC JUSTICE  and BELLEVILLE COP )
Support: Alicia Vikander (TOMB RAIDER , TULIP FEVER , THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS , THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. , and the upcoming THE EARTHQUAKE BIRD ), Daniel Brühl (7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE , THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE , CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR , and the upcoming MY ZOE ), Emma Thompson (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST , BRIDGET JONES’S BABY , and upcoming films JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN  and THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE ), Lily James (DARKEST HOUR , PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES , and upcoming films SORRY TO BOTHER YOU  and MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN ), and Uma Thurman (MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND , GATTACA , and upcoming films DOWN A DARK HALL  and THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT )
Director: John Wells (AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY )
Writer: Steven Knight (ALLIED , PAWN SACRIFICE , and upcoming films SERENITY  and THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB )
Composer: Rob Simonsen (TULLY , GIFTED , NERVE , and the upcoming CAPTIVE STATE )
Cinematographer: Matthew Rhys (THE CROWN [2016 – ongoing], and the upcoming GUILTY )
Editor: Nick Moore (LOVE ACTUALLY , NOTTING HILL , and the upcoming THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE)
This is my honest opinion of: BURNT
After botching his brief career as a chef by using drugs and drinking alcohol, Adam (Bradley Cooper) has cleaned up his act and is determined to redeem himself by returning to the restaurant scene and earn his third Michelin star by opening up a new restaurant and enlisting the help of talented chefs and cooks all over London.
FUN FACT: Apparently, the actors worked alongside real chefs and did real prep work with sharpened knives and flaming stoves, everything, and continued to work with the real staff while cooking to add pressure on the actors.
Alright, so I enjoyed the movie more than I thought. Funny enough though, while this movie may just be a movie, it’s my argument as to why I would never work in a kitchen, even on the best of days.
I’m not wrong about Cooper. Let me describe his character. He’s a talented pretty-boy who fell off the wagon and wants to redeem himself, falls for a beautiful girl, and acts like a self-centered rock star who learns the value of the company of others. Are you twitching your eyelid as much as I am? Look, he plays the role well, there’s hints of his tremendous acting abilities, but… man, all I see is Bradley Cooper being Bradley Cooper, I just can’t separate the man from the character. However, it is fun to watch him speak French.
I do give Cooper credit though, he is at his finest when he’s bouncing off another equally talented actor. The greatest amount of drama throughout the movie is when he’s interacting with either Miller or pretty much anyone else. Character-wise, however, I didn’t buy the relationship between the characters Adam and Michel, or Adam and Anne Marie. Michel acts like Adam releasing rats into his newly opened restaurant was no big deal, even after chasing him down with a death-glare and a small fight scene (yes, there’s a bit of a fight scene in a movie about a chef).
I probably should have seen it coming, Michel’s intent to sabotage Adam’s desires for a third Michelin star, considering how their introduction to each other felt really off, but I didn’t. I’m pretty sure clever people would figure it out. I wish better writing went into developing their characters and would have felt better chemistry between them, but that’s really just it. They never really interact outside of their work space.
Vikander’s role as Anne Marie is the worst. Oh, not that she’s bad in her role, far from it, she’s probably my favorite actor in this movie. But her role is reduced to two scenes which serve only one purpose: to get Adam out of his financial debt with his drug dealer. I’m rubbing my aching head thinking to myself, “this girl was in EX-MACHINA!! How did she get reduced to a glorified cameo??” Her role in the not-so-good SEVENTH SON had more of an impact than this.
And why was there a drug-dealing subplot? It was not needed and didn’t serve the movie in any way. I mean, take the movie CHEF for example, yes, there’s a subplot involving a man who wants to get back together with his ex-wife, but this is played very organic to the story and develops over the course of the story with a satisfactory payoff. Here, a drug-dealer is trying to get his money out of Adam. This subplot is just filler. We never really meet the drug-dealer, so we never get a sense of how threatening he is. We never see Adam try to save up money for these guys either. They literally show up just remind the audience a few times that this was a thing and it’s god-damned annoying. No development at all and barely any reaction out of our lead character. It’s added drama for the sake of added drama which is one of the laziest forms of writing.
But these things aside, there is a great deal of fun to be had. First of all, the energy in the kitchen is played pretty authentically. I may not know what exactly gets made all the time, food-wise, but it always looks delicious. And despite how annoyed I am with Cooper’s acting, when he’s acting like a chef in the kitchen, he’s damn believable. Egotistical, self-centered, harsh as fuck, sounds about right. It’s everything that he does outside of him cooking stuff that takes me out of the character.
I know that’s not a whole lot of positives, but since I do work in the food industry myself, I do have a personal attachment to see this sort of stuff done right and this movie nails it, from what I can tell, so that means a lot. I think the only real criticism that I would give is show us the cleanliness while on the clock as well. Not just the pre or post-shift prep work, but little things like washing your hands and stuff. I don’t know, just an idea.
Like I said, I enjoy the movie more than I didn’t. It’s just hard to get past Cooper playing himself outside of the kitchen stuff. If you’re interested in gorgeous-looking food, or how the restaurant works behind the scenes, then I would recommend this.
My honest rating for BURNT: a strong 3/5