Movie Review: Burnt

Burnt is an uninvolving redemption story of a jerk, no thanks to its underbaked  story, paper thin characters, and predictable plot.

Chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) had it all – and lost it. A two-star Michelin rockstar with the bad habits to match, the former enfant terrible of the Paris restaurant scene did everything different every time out, and only ever cared about the thrill of creating explosions of taste. To land his own kitchen and that third elusive Michelin star though, he’ll need the best of the best on his side.

After the cancellation of Kitchen Confidential after only four episodes, Bradley Cooper is casted as another skirt-chasing, drug addicted and alcoholic but supposedly talented chef in Burnt.

Cooper has been good at turning jerks into likeable characters ever since The Hangover, making his character believable enough. The rest of the cast also did well.

Unfortunately they’re efforts are wasted on a lazily written screenplay about the redemption of a jerk.

It’s not clear why orphan turned Michelin studded Adam Jones fucked up his life. There are only vague references to what happened in Paris involving the usual rock star cliches – sex, drugs, alcohol, betrayal and eventual fall from grace.

As a result we’re not really sure what he’s being redeemed from. More importantly, his road to redemption is as bland and cookie cutter as mediocre Hollywood studio features come. All the characters are just props – the women as proof of his bad boy charms and fix the bumps along the way while the men temporarily complicate his life and surrender to him eventually.  Case in point, It Girl Alicia Vikander drops in as the hot ex only to pay his drug debts while rival Reece easily accepts defeat and reassures his genius. The plot takes its predictable course as all Adam Jones really has to do is just do what he’s already doing – stay sober and cook – and life will just eventually fall into place.

Burnt is able to portray the ultra high competitive nature in the restaurant industry and the kitchen scenes do look authentic thanks to editing and consultant Marcus Wareing. However, there’s no genuine story to make it all come together.

Burnt is another lesson that Hollywood never learns – expensive ingredients and fancy preparations don’t always make a satisfying meal.

Rating: 4/10

6 Comments Add yours

  1. You are such a fine writer. Do you create short stories or poetry? Longer form prose perhaps? If not, start doing so, man!! :]

    1. Arline says:

      Thanks! I’ve written short stories and a few poems before, but haven’t been published yet 😦 . I’ve been busy with this blog so I haven’t been able to get back to it. Once I do can I list you as one of the beta readers?

      1. For sure-can’t wait, Arline! I’ve written a fair share of short stories, essays and poetry and have actually been published several times. It’s work, challenging and often times deflating…but it’s also pretty damn fun!! :}

  2. Dan O. says:

    It was better than people gave it credit for. However, yeah, it was kind of messy. Nice review.

    1. Arline says:

      It looked authentic and would’ve been a decent studio movie, but its like the writers assumed that having Bradley Cooper on screen is enough to convince the audience of the bad boy shtick because he played a character inspired by Anthony Bourdain.

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