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Burnt

Burnt: Bradley Cooper Stars in Underdone Chef Drama

  • Bradley CooperDaniel Brühl...
  • ComedyDrama
  • John Wells
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Burnt: Bradley Cooper Stars in Underdone Chef Drama

Undermined by predictability, culinary drama, Burnt is surprisingly bland and unexcitingly seasoned for a kitchen-based flick that sees Bradley Cooper step into the role of a bad-boy chef on the road to redemption.

Set in London – or at least some Hollywood version of it – the story follows Adam Jones (Cooper); a brilliant but arrogant chef who, after becoming embroiled in the drugs, alcohol and women of Paris, is eager to get his life back on track. After spending a few years doing penance in New Orleans, Adam arrives in London with the hopes of persuading restaurateur and friend, Tony (Bruhl), to give him another chance, so that he can try and build a brand name and give his greatest rival, Reece (Rhys) – who has also set up shop in the area – a run for his money.

Setting out to get his dream-team of cooks, Adam recruits a seemingly rag-tag team, including  Michel (Sy) – a sous chef whose restaurant Adam sabotaged – as well as Max (Scarmarcio); an assistant-to-the-chef who has just recently been released from jail.

Directed by John Wells and written by Steven Knight, it is unlikeable characters that haunt this foodie-feature, which spends most of its running time following a fairly conventional setup. Playing to an awfully predictable beat of redemption, Burnt feels overwritten and undercooked at the same time – trying to squeeze in one too many subplots – and apart from a few wonderfully-shot close up food shots, there’s not much that can be considered exciting – or appetising – about watching Burnt unfold or watching one constantly dissatisfied and seemingly conceited chef at play.

Which brings us to the cast of Burnt; apart from Sienna Miller – who plays a single mom and a gifted sous chef with a romantic tie to Adam – and Emma Thomson as Adam’s therapist and counsellor, no one really has the space to perform.

Even Cooper himself fails to connect to the material given; channeling his inner Gordon Ramsey, there’s a lot of ego and profanity at display, but, unfortunately, not a lot of substance or meaning to warrant Burnt as a necessary viewing. This is not the first time Cooper has played the role of a chef; he starred in underrated sitcom, Kitchen Confidential, which was based on a best-selling book by infamous chef, Anthony Bourdain. Though it was cancelled after 13 episodes, the show also showed its main character as rebel with a talent – the only difference being that Kitchen Confidential had likeable characters, a jovial sense of humour and generally more heart. It's a shame; Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Omar Sy, Emma Thompson is a great cast. 

Like This? Try

Chef (2014), The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014), Dinner Rush (2000)

360 Tip

Michelle Williams and Marion Cotillard were considered for the role that eventually went to Sienna Miller. That's about as interesting as it gets.

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