Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper’s “Burnt” Sizzles and Fizzles

I have mixed feelings for the movie Burnt—while there were some aspects that I liked, others fell flat. One of the things I enjoyed was the overall message about a chef who had it all but struggled with his own demons and had to make a name for himself again. However, this message was often lost as some of the scenes felt unnecessary and pointless. Even better, the film could have utilized flashbacks to establish a better connection with the characters instead of aimless conversations. There were so many characters that it got confusing to keep track of their past and relationship to Chef Adam Jones, because character development wasn’t present in this film.

The movie stars Bradley Cooper as Jones, who has been a chef since he was 19-years-old. At one point, Jones was considered the top chef and worked for a restaurant in Paris for a man named John Luke. Eventually, Jones lost everything he had to drugs and alcohol, and he is now a washed up chef working in New Orleans cleaning clams. Early in the movie, he leaves his job and heads back to Europe, this time to London. He is searching for Tony (Daniel Bruhl), a good friend of his from Paris who once worked with him in the kitchen. At first, Tony does not want anything to do with Jones and blames him for losing John Luke’s restaurant. Ultimately, Tony softens, and allows Jones to run his restaurant’s kitchen.

Throughout the movie, Jones collects old and new friends to help him in the kitchen, but nothing seems to be going his way and his bad attitude is not helping to motivate his chefs. But, with the help of Helene (Sienna Miller), Jones gets a confidence boost and they become a fearsome duo. Jones wants more than to redeem himself; he wants three Michelin Stars, which is only given to the restaurants that are the best of the best. Throughout the movie, he works extremely hard to achieve this goal.

Even though it was nothing spectacular, Cooper’s acting was natural and the rage he incorporated into his character gave added drama and emotion. Cooper is always good at playing these underdogs trying to clean themselves up, just like some everyday people. Most people can relate to his acting because it’s not overly theatrical, but rather evokes the way some might behave in real life. He reminded me of the American version of Gordon Ramsay, the British chef who is known for his rage and ferocity in the kitchen. Ultimately, Cooper’s acting saved this movie from being unimpressive overall.

I think the two great supporting roles where Miller and Bruhl. Without these two to help push the storyline along, I think the movie would have fallen off the tracks. They complimented Cooper just as he balanced them out. The chemistry between these three felt so natural and real that you can relate to their stories of meeting new friends to trusting in old ones. I think Miller and Cooper’s dynamic was great and I certainly would not mind seeing them play in another movie together.

Burnt is not a movie I would go pay $12 to see in theaters, but I would go and rent it at a Redbox machine. The movie was not the best but it also wasn’t the worst movie I have seen. I wish there was more to Adam Jones’ past life as a chef and I actually wouldn’t have minded if Cooper challenged himself with doing a British accent for the role. Despite all of this, I still enjoyed the movie and its realistic content about chefs in a kitchen. With plates being thrown around and smashing on walls in the kitchen, Burnt will certainly appeal to action lovers as well as drama fans.