I’m really torn right now. After watching the above trailer, I can’t decide if Burnt—directed by John Wells of August: Osage County fame—is going to be an annoying, two-hour-long string of cliches, or if it might actually be good.
In the good corner: Bradley Cooper, who never seems to make a bad movie and looks fairly credible as Adam Jones, the down-and-out two-star chef who used to be a huge star, then got into drugs, and now is vying for redemption and also that elusive third star.
In the bad corner: Literally everything else, right down to the tag line—”never underestimate a man with everything to lose.” In the trailer above, you have all the requisite “sexy bad boy chef tropes,” including a leather-clad Cooper on a motorcycle, a bunch of plate-smashing scenes—too many, really, to the point that it seems like he needs some plate-smashing therapy—and Jones’ mission statement for the restaurant itself: “I want people to sit at that table and be sick with longing.” Even the fact that he’s a bad-boy chef in the first place seems cynically aimed at appealing to a female demographic, and it checks off all the other “chick-lit dashing rogue” boxes on the way.
Judging a movie by its trailer is a fool’s errand, but I can’t help it—I’m already getting the feeling that Bradley Cooper will be the only good thing about Burnt, and that we may even hate him by the end. But I could be wrong! I could have a plate smashed over my head!
Burnt hits theater on Oct. 23, and co-stars Sienna Miller.