Director; Mark Mylod. Starring; Ralph Fiennes, Anya Tyler-joy, Nicholas Hoult. Rated R. Color. 117 Minutes.
Who doesn’t love the joy of an exquisite meal? Some get it once in a lifetime. The more fortunate test their “refined” palate on a weekly basis. What “The Menu” tests is the idea of the higher-ups being forced to look in the mirror, courtesy of a twisted as f-*** six course meal.
Anya-Taylor Johnson plays Margot, a jobbing prostitute to the rich elite who connects with Tyler (Nicholas Hoult). Tyler has family/investment/stolen money for days. The wild card, Tyler decides to bring Margot on the boat ride filled with millionaires to a small island in which the undeniable best chef in the world lives. His name is Chef Slowik (Ralph Finnes). There is a reason Tyler has chosen his prostitute instead of his girlfriend for this adventure.
The rich visitors include a famous actor known as “Movie Star” (John Leguizamo), the biggest food critic in the world Lillian (Janet McTeer), and three a-holes who work for the owner of this facility. Head Chef. Slowik is talked about the entire boat ride over as a genius. Walking into the restaurant is like walking into a boot camp type of atmosphere with every employee doing exactly what is required with an exact precision. The atmosphere feels like walking into the Playboy Mansion minus the scandals.
As soon as everyone gets comfortable for an amazing experience, Chef Slowik loudly claps his hands, which silences the room, kitchen and dining room both. Slowik seems almost robotic in his approach with his staff looking like an assembly line as they craft their dishes. The first courses include a pretentious as hell version of an oyster, a “first world” dish already. Despite all of this money and esteem in the room, the hooker Margot is the only one who gets what is truly going on.
Tensions mount when Chef Slowik realizes that Margot does not belong in this situation. He asks her to make a decision, are you a server or a taker?
And that is what makes “The Menu” so beautifully twisted. The violence, while minuscule, takes a back seat to the brilliant arc about how much nonsense class-ism is. Director Mark Mylod made the rounds in the TV game. His first feature film is an absolute home run. Same to be said with Mylod’s collaborator Will Tracy for crafting one of the most original scripts one could see. Finally, the cast. Everybody is exceptional and perfectly placed. But can we please agree that Anya Tyler-Joy is the real deal? YES! Spoiler Alert* When she does her clap, you feel it. The one thing I want after watching “The Menu” is a cheeseburger.
SUCK FACTOR: 0 out of 7. 7 Means your Movie Really SUCKS!
The Suck Factor. How it works. We have flipped the script on the standard ratings system. If you make a masterpiece such as “The Godfather”, your film receives 0 SUCKS! If you make complete garbage, such as a Michael Bay movie, you receive an un-clean 7 out of 7. That means your movie really SUCKS!