** ½ out of ****
Burnt wants to be an underdog story about redemption but the problem is that the main character, Adam Jones (played by Bradley Cooper), is such an arrogant, insufferable jerk that it's hard to root for him. In fact, if this was an '80s comedy, he'd be the villain, but times have changed and lately the turds are the heroes. Let's face it, Chris Pratt's “hero” in Jurassic World is a frat boy creep.
Well, once upon a time Jones was a master chef in London, but threw it all away because of a rabid addiction to drugs and booze. He did penance in New Orleans and has now returned to London to reclaim his crown by taking over a top restaurant.
This movie is pretty pretentious and lacks the breezy fun of Jon Favreau's Chef (2014). Burnt is too serious and contains far too many side characters as well as too many go-nowhere subplots. Did they really have to include the recurring scenes of thugs hassling Jones because he owes his former drug dealer a crap load of money?
The bright spot here is Sienna Miller in a winning performance as a single mom and fantastic sous-chef. The movie should have been about her character!
Director John Wells has delivered strong pictures in the past – The Company Men and August: Osage County – and Burnt actually is fairly watchable, but it's just too scrambled for its own good.