Review: ‘Burnt’ is overcooked

Bradley cooper and sienna miller
Burnt stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller

Armed with a star-studded cast and the writer that brought us Peaky Blinders, you would have thought this foodie-drama had all the ingredients to cook up a storm.

But like curry and cheese, some things just don’t work well together, no matter how amazing they might be on their own.

Bradley Cooper plays the antagonist Adam Jones, a painstakingly arrogant and foul-mouthed world class chef – kind of like Gordon Ramsay, just more pleasing on the eye.

We meet a two-years-sober Adam in Louisiana as he’s shucking his millionth oyster, a sentence he imposed on himself after his life spiralled out of control while he was working Paris, “I gave up drinking, as well as sniffing, snorting, injecting, licking yellow frogs.. and women” he tells us.

The rock star chef starts afresh in London on a relentless quest for a third Michelin star, convincing reluctant old co-workers and undiscovered chefs to help him open the restaurant that will get him just that.

The film goes downhill from there, despite the promising start the entire thing is, pardon the pun, overcooked.

It is difficult to root for a character who behaves like a child, throwing plates and tantrums simultaneously. Despite Adam’s inherent unlikeability, everyone and their cousin seems to be in love with him, including his former Maître d’ (Daniel Bruhl) and Uma Thurman as a food critic who apparently asks herself daily why she slept with him despite being a lesbian (seems legit).

bradley cooper in burnt
Bradley Cooper’s character throws more tantrums than a two-year-old

The biggest shame of all is the masses of unutilised talent, with the likes of loveable Emma Thompson as a quirky therapist, Dr. Rossindale there was scope for some unique and multi-dimensional characters, instead the films incessant pointless sub-plots left little time to see important characters truly develop.

Credit must however be given where credit is due, Sienna Millers is responsible for making the film somewhat bearable. She is effortlessly convincing as feisty single mum and talented sous-chef, Helene and she and Cooper have undeniable chemistry, as was confirmed in last year’s American Sniper.

While the actors and the dishes do look awfully pretty, the story line falls flat as a pancake and Ratatouille is still the greatest foodie-film of all time.


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