“If it isn’t perfect, throw it away.”
I tried my very hardest to find something positive to write about Burnt. But as I sat in the cinema watching it, wanting desperately to leave after the first twenty minutes, I couldn’t think of a single good thing to be said about this, the most awful of films I’ve watched in recent memory.
I’m not talking about films like The Intern, shitty, not at all funny comedies, I’m talking about a film that doesn’t have a shred of decent filmmaking anywhere in the nearly two hours I suffered through to bring you this review. I was already a bit skeptical when I read other write-ups on it, how its star power can’t save it and how it’s just not that good, but I tried to go in open-minded and not be swayed by the naysayers; maybe they were wrong?
It turns out they were. Just not in the direction that I was hoping. The reality of the film was far worse than I thought it could be.
The story of Bradley Cooper’s Adam Jones, a once great chef who lost it all to booze, drugs and women is nothing short of cliché ridden nonsense. Having served a self-imposed penance; going sober, celebate and cracking oyster shells, Jones finds his way to London where he convinces his friend Tony (Daniel Brühl) to open a new restaurant an let him chase his third Michelin star. He gets himself an all-star team of chefs, including Sienna Miller and Omar Sy and starts on his journey for the most hallowed of restaurant accolades, all while his past – including ex-girlfriend Alicia Vikander – is trying to catch up with him.
On paper, it sounds a bit, well, meh. But actually watching this ghastly piece of shit was far more painful, and brought on far more anger, than I thought possible. Let’s start with the really, really obvious shall we? You and I are supposed to feel sorry for this clown. Oh, he’s had such a hard time and he’s trying so hard to make amends, fuck right off. This guy is a spiteful, hateful asshat and to feel sympathy for him would mean I first gave the slightest shit whether he was allowed to cook or not. And let’s be clear about this, we aren’t seeing him drag himself up by his bootlaces and find his way in the world. Within ten minutes of him being on screen we are well on the way to him opening a restaurant with his name on the poxy door; to be filled with pretentious twats that think it’s ok to spend £300 on a third of a plate of food made by an equally pretentious twat that thinks it’s ok to throw away £300 of food because it’s “not perfect”. Cooked in a room filled with utter tool bags that think it’s ok to have pictures of cleavers and wooden spoons tattooed on them. I couldn’t care less about your situation pal, you want my sympathy? You want me to care about you? Get thee to a Harvester and shut the fuck up!
You can’t endear yourself to me by being such an abysmal human being that you don’t let your chefs have the day off for their kid’s birthday, yelling at people Gordon Ramsey style and physically abusing the one chick in your kitchen, mate. But “oh no, your dream is vanishing before your eyes” as the mate you fucked over years ago returns to fuck you right back! Good. You deserve nothing less for the pain and suffering you are putting all of us in the theatre through watching as you try to prove you’re not a has-been, as you try to bring drama to a plate of fish and as you swear off women for life but get the girl anyway. Please, dear god, just piss off.
Do yourself a favour, there is nothing here to see. Even the usual talents of the usually decent Cooper and the awesome Vikander aren’t worth swiping your Unlimited card for. There are far better ways to spend an afternoon. I mean, you could watch that latest John Lewis Christmas ad on a constant loop for a couple of hours. It’d be far more entertaining and less like a household chore you’re being forced to do naked in front of your entire family.