Former Paris top chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) had to put his career on hold after drugs and alcohol led him to a meltdown. After moving from New Orleans to London, Adam gets a shot at redemption when his former maitre d’ Tony (Daniel Brühl) reluctantly hires him as the head chef of his fine-dining restaurant. While always demanding perfection from his newly formed kitchen staff, the sharp and temperamental Jones now has a second chance to reach his dream of earning a third Michelin star.
So I haven’t seen too many Bradley Cooper movies lately (Guardians of the Galaxy notwithstanding because he never appeared onscreen) and the only one I did see, American Sniper, was not very good. I don’t really understand all the recognition that it got but this is not a conversation about that. I haven’t really been a fan of Bradley Cooper but this is also not a conversation about that either. So he is a chef in this one, one with a troubled past (a troubled past that we do not have the fortune to see). This film serves as a redemption story of sorts. I don’t have to tell you how that goes as the plot was rather predictable. He returns to London (for some unmentioned reason so he may or may not have been returning) to start his own restaurant. There’s also some backstory involving a relationship between Adam and an old french chef who was his mentor which was hinted at which has to do with his motivations (but we never got to see this either). He also has a history with another rival chef Reece (Matthew Rhys) (or this). When a film is about a redemption story, it’s hard to feel connected with a character’s own progression when we don’t have a good idea of where he started. At least that’s my opinion. There are other characters from Adam’s past and present but they don’t really matter here since there is no real character development. They’re not as important because the film is about Cooper’s Jones. The only exception to that would be Brühl’s Tony, I found him to be a decent character who had a decent part. He was good but that doesn’t quite change the fact that I found all of the characters to be rather one-dimensional. Cooper’s just a bi-polar narcissist, obsessed with getting that third Michelin star. He’s a Ramsay-esque character. Sienna Miller was okay as Cooper’s love interest but I found that she and Cooper (as well as in American Sniper) had no chemistry whatsoever. Rhys’ character Reece served no purpose in the plot other than for throwing hissy fits. Emma Thompson and Alicia Vikander also appear in forgettable roles. I found the part of the film about him creating the new restaurant was interesting but I also found everything else to be a little boring. Also the film’s length is supposed to be 101 minutes but it felt longer than that to me. At least the film is good to look at, the food the characters make looks good and the restaurants where the food is served look good too. Overall, Bradley Cooper fans should enjoy this one but otherwise this is just a cheesy drama (pun intended).