Culinary movies make our mouths water.
Think “Chef,” “Big Night” and “The Hundred Foot Journey.” They’re the worst factor to occur to diets since Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
“The Menu” has the alternative impact.
The dishes on show dazzle, however one thing isn’t proper with each the grasp chef and people sampling his delicacies. That unease is the center of this wickedly executed deal with, a thriller that overstays its welcome however leaves us feeling full.
Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy star as Tyler and Margot, a pair invited to an unique dinner thrown by a world-renowned chef. Tyler’s a licensed meals snob, and he or she’s his cynical “plus one.” She stays open-minded, and a tad curious, concerning the meals awaiting them.
These aren’t simply meals delivered in a spectacular vogue. Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) or simply “Chef” to his cult-like minions, builds tales course by magnificent course.
Tyler and Margot are joined by a motley crew of the wealthy, well-known and pampered. Janet McTeer is an unctuous meals critic, whereas John Leguizamo performs a fading film star desperate to impress his colleague and doable lover.
Other diners are far too younger to have earned their fortunes, however their connections purchased them entry into this extravagant affair.
Ralph Fiennes has performed dashing heroes, terrifying villains, and now, a disillusioned head chef in ‘The Menu.’ To have fun, EW serves up a listing of the actor’s greatest performances. https://t.co/VRhgxqgnfC
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) November 16, 2022
Director Mark Mylod (“Succession, “Game of Thrones”) spares no cinematic expense right here. The varied programs are given title playing cards, and Mylod makes positive the minute particulars get pleasure from rapturous close-ups. It’s edible artwork, and we marvel on the craftspeople who make it doable.
They’re all working below Chef’s strict orders, awaiting his signature hand clap to start. He’s heat however demanding, a boss who craves nothing in need of perfection.
And there’s one thing creepy about each facet of the menu and Chef’s loyal servants.
The mysteries gained’t be spoiled right here, however the movie’s satirical edge is razor sharp and by no means loses its edge. “The Menu” roasts these self-absorbed diners, desperate to climb societal ranks by any means crucial.
The programs are equally cynical. Many go to mattress hungry whereas these meals are made as a lot for his or her aesthetic splendor as their style.
You might by no means take a look at your plate the identical approach once more.
Hoult, typically solid as a hero or flawed protagonist, flashes a meaty ego his date finds off-putting.
Get in line.
Fiennes makes his Chef the last word artist – relentless in his craft, unbending to the skin world. It’s a fabulous flip, suggesting the tortured soul of a genius with a pores and skin as skinny as a souffle.
“The Menu” ought to have been shorter. The movie’s satirical punch traces are exhausted by the third act, and it’s inconceivable to lap what we’ve already seen. Still, Mylod and his crew maintain our consideration via the ultimate, stark imagery, lavishing much more surprises earlier than the ultimate reveal.
Hong Chau deserves particular point out as one in every of Chef’s key assistants. She’s agency and unflappable, prepared to serve her boss in any approach doable. She’s a wildly unique character, and each time she’s on display the movie enjoys a heady increase.
Mocking the spoiled diners assembled here’s a satirical layup, and “The Menu” feasts on their greed. That it does so with snap and finesse places it in a comic book class of its personal.
HiT or Miss: “The Menu” seduces with its spectacular first act, and whereas the remainder can’t fairly measure up it’s nonetheless an intoxicating social satire.