I’m a big fan of the Iron Man movies, so in turn I became a big fan of Jon Favreau. Those films are a perfect balance of action and story with a touch of humour on the side. When I heard that Favreau would be releasing a new film away from the superhero genre, I was expectedly excited.
Chef follows Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), a chef at a high-end restaurant, who quits his job when he receives a poor review after not being allowed enough creative license by his controlling restaurant owner (Dustin Hoffman). He then decides to open up a food truck specialising in traditional Cuban food with the help of his son, Percy (Emjay Anthony), ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and chef-friend, Martin (John Leguizamo). They tour the country as their popularity increases with the help of an ever-growing social media presence.
The film is a foodies delight with delicious cuisine being served up at ever corner. This, and a mildly funny script were the only things that won me over in the two hours I spent in the theatre. A very clichéd storyline, along with average grade acting and some pacing issues made me continuously look at my watch throughout. The fact that two big named stars in Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr were used so sparingly gave the impression that they were included only to draw in a crowd. The ending was cheesy and really countered the little development we saw in the characters. The constant push of Twitter and other social media gave it the impression that Favreau was trying just too hard to be cool.
It’s a feel good film, I’ll give you that – but a chocolate bar costs $2 and makes you feel pretty good too.