Review : The Menu – Scrumptious!

At its best when it’s exploring the intricate sometimes over-the-top ins and outs of cooking

Searchlight Pictures

A fillet of MasterChef, sauteed with Scream, and served by Hannibal Lecter, anyone?

The Menu is a deliciously devilish treat that’s up there with the finest dishes of the year. A collaboration between TV buds, ”Succession” director Mark Mylod (whose early big screen ventures are worth omitting from the, er, menu) and writer Will Tracy (who wrote the script with Seth Reiss), the cheeky, culinary horror comedy has got as much to say about class as it does food – and does it with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

A young couple (Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult) trek off to an exclusive, very pricey ($1250 a head!) restaurant on a remote island run by an eminent, acclaimed chief (Ralph Fiennes) who has won a surfeit of commendation for his lavish tasting menu. Tonight, however, Chef Slowik is planning to add something fleshier to the menu.

At its best when it’s exploring the intricate sometimes over-the-top ins and outs of cooking, in humorous fashion, and not so much when its hammering home social commentary, Mylod’s pic is a generous portion of fun. There’s nothing particularly ground-breaking about it, with most of its beats playing like familiar moments from other films, but it’s dressing it’s so appetizingly silly and sour audiences will find it hard to resist.

The always-dependable Ralph Fiennes – in a turn reminiscent of his Tooth Fairy from the Red Dragon remake from a few years ago, only more finely tuned and played with severity – is outstanding, and he’s backed by impressive turns by talented youngsters Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult, the latter providing much of the film’s humour.

There’s nothing on The Menu that isn’t scrumptious.

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