Movie Review: 'Burnt' goes down like dry toast

23 October 2015 - 02:15 By Tymon Smith

I have to admit that I'm biased against any film that stars Bradley Cooper. This middling story about a rock star chef who lost it all and has now cleaned up in an effort to get it all back is not the film to convince me otherwise.As Adam Jones, once the badly behaved chef of a two-star Michelin restaurant in Paris, Cooper parades his smugness even more than usual - making it way too hard for anyone to care about his character's struggle to cook the socks off London and get his star rating back. The food he prepares isn't that amazing to look at and aside from occasionally throwing his pots and pans around to demonstrate that stereotypical chef's passion, there is not much evidence of Jones's supposed genius.With decent supporting turns from Daniel Bruhl as a rich boy backer who's in love with Jones, Sienna Miller as a fiery sous chef whom Jones lures to become his protégée and a very perfunctory role for Emma Thompson as an English teacher therapist - Burnt suffers from a lack of depth and an unoriginal story that is about as memorable as eating a Big Mac on a Monday evening.Even the inclusion of The Americans' Matthew Rhys as Jones's one-time friend, now longtime rival, cannot inject dramatic tension into the story. Cooper can at least make the excuse this time that he's been let down by the script, but with a more capable and inspired performer in the lead Burnt might have been able to cover up the holes enough to maintain audience interest. With the huge popularity of celebrity chefs - evidenced by the rise of reality TV shows and Netflix's recent Chef's Tabledocumentaries - it is easy to see why Hollywood thinks that stories about the people who tickle our taste buds might be profitable. But with this story and this actor, it has made a poor start to realising that potential. Burnt opens in cinemas this weekAlso openingJUNGLE BOOKLive-action adaptation with a realistic makeover of the 1967 animated musical adaptation. Ethan Anderson, OF A TEENAGE GIRLYou come out feeling that you've actually spent 100 minutes in contact with real people.Jonathan Romney, guardian.comTHE JAKES ARE MISSINGSouth African romantic comedy that will entertain viewers, young and old, with its universal storyline and theme. Tambay A. Obenson, indiewire.comPARANORMAL ACTIVITY: GHOST DIMENSIONThe last of the low-budget, found-footage, supernatural horror series.DIS EK ANNAPowerful movie that's no doubt going to rip the doors off Calvinist closets. Charl Blignaut, City Press

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