Story by Adam Winn, Staff writer
In the newly released drama “Burnt,” one of the lines spoken by Bradley Cooper’s character is, “If it’s not perfect, you throw it away … regardless of time.” However, the script writer obviously didn’t take his own words too seriously or the final product for this film wouldn’t have turned out the way it did, which, unfortunately, was rather disappointing.
This film tells the story of Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) who is a world-class chef, but is also a recovering alcoholic, drug-addicted womanizer whose previous behavior cost him his job working as a chef in an esteemed restaurant in Paris.
After recently moving to London from a self-imposed exile in Louisiana, he tracks down some of his old acquaintances that worked in the former restaurant and sets out to start a new restaurant with the ultimate goal of achieving a three-star Michelin rating, which is the highest honor possibly given to any European restaurant.
Along the way, he meets Helene (Sienna Miller) who is also an extraordinary chef and after much reluctance on her part, enlists her as part of his team at the new restaurant. Not long after being in London, Jones also finds out that his former rival and co-worker, Reece (Matthew Rhys), is the head chef for an exclusive restaurant, which further fuels Jones’ ambition to become, in his own words, the “perfect chef.”
The movie’s plot is boring and brings nothing new to the table, pun intended. While watching the film, the viewer can tell that the script either went through several rewrites or just had some lazy writers. The writers would start a story line and then just abandon it and go in a new direction.
In the first half of the movie the viewer mainly watches Cooper’s character eating food and running into old acquaintances from his past, then the second half is spent watching his character be a narcissistic prick to his fellow employees, almost as if Cooper himself had been possessed by the reality-star chef Gordon Ramsay.
One frustrating plot point is the introduction of the character Simone Forth, played by talented actress Uma Thurman (“Kill Bill”). The film introduces her character near the beginning of the film as what appears to be an important side character and after appearing in a mere two scenes, she just disappears and never returns.
The film is eerily similar to the recently released “Rock the Kasbah.” Not because of either film’s content, but because of the films’ structures and star quality behind them. Both introduce a very popular actress who the audience thinks will be important to the film. However, they just disappear out of nowhere, almost as if these actresses were just placed in these movies for nothing more than added star power. Both scripts seem to have no sense of direction, leaving the audience to wonder what the heck is going on the whole time. The viewers are going to find themselves confused trying to figure out what the ultimate objective each film is.
Most importantly, the central theme of this film is supposed to be about the creation of high-quality, luxurious food in a high-end restaurant, but fails to make viewers actually attracted to the food options. The movie shows a good example of how the extremely wealthy dine, but other than that it doesn’t deliver much else.
One of the only reasons this movie is worth watching is the well-done acting job for the cast. Cooper did an amazing job of making the character Adam Jones his own and had the script been more solid and thought through, this could have been one of his best-to-date. Miller had great on-screen chemistry with Cooper’s character and the two did a good job playing off one another, but sadly not enough to save the film.
Everyone, except maybe die-hard Bradley Cooper fans, should just forget about this one and find something else to watch.