Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Chef


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Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87% (Critics) / 89% (Audience)
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Written By: Jon Favreau
Starring: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Emjay Anthony Sofía Vergara and Scarlett Johansson
Studio: Open Road Films

Synopsis:A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family. – (Source)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3OkPRRptgQ
The Good:
I loved that this movie subverted my expectations of a workplace type comedy and instead was a film about a burned out man looking to reclaim his passion for life and as a result become a better chef, husband, friend and father. Jon Favreau made an appealing (if unconventional) leading man and did a bang up job playing all the beats necessary to take Chef Carl Casper from the selfish egotistical ass he was when we first meet him to the pretty cool chef and dad he became by the film’s end.
I also enjoyed the chemistry that existed between Favreau, John Leguizamo (as Casper’s friend and line chef) and Emjay Anthony (as Casper’s son). the road trip scenes in the food truck were some of the more stand out moments in the movie.
This movie also gets props for actually understanding the power of social media in today’s constantly connected age and making use of the many avenues of social networking very real and believable.
The food was absolutely gorgeous in this film and may be the best looking examples of food on film this side of NBC’s HANNIBAL. The label of “food porn” was created expressly for this movie.
And the music in this film was great. From the covers of well-known songs to the spot on use of classics, all of the music was wonderful and used perfectly.

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The Bad:
I felt like not enough time was given to the relationship between Casper and his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) especially when one takes into account the way the film ended. There were moments that showed a deeper connection between the former spouses but it felt like some of their relationship rebuilding scenes may have been left on the cutting room floor.

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The Ugly
Scarlett Johansson disappearing completely from this movie midway through it’s running time was not cool.

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Final Verdict: An incredibly charming buffet for the eyes that throws a curve ball by being more of a film about a father and son connecting than anything else. Full of wonderful performances and gorgeously shot food all held together by a solid performance from writer/director and star Jon Favreau.

Grade: A-

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9 thoughts on “Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Chef”

  1. Good review Derek. What I liked about this movie was that it seemed like Jon Favreau was back to making movies for himself, and not these huge, action-blockbusters. Nothing wrong with them in the first place, but they did make me forget just how lovely and charming the dude was in the first place.

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