Chef (2014) – Review

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Jon Favreau Enlists a lot of celebrity friends to star in his latest Directorial outing called Chef, a Dramedy about a chef whose professional and personal  life is in a rut.  This film is basically Real Steel, but instead of Robots, we have Food Trucks,  but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

As the film begins, Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) is anticipating a famous food critic  arriving to review his menu who loved his early work a decade ago played by Oliver Platt.  Carl has great ideas for the menu, but his boss (and restaurant owner) Played by Dustin Hoffman wants him to play it safe with the tried and tested menu options.  Well things don’t go so well, and the review is scathing towards him.  Everyone keeps talking about Twitter (which Carl doesn’t have or know how to use) so he gets his 10 year old son Percy (Emjay Anthony) to give him a crash course to see what’s happening.  What has happened of course is that his Review has gone viral, and is EVERYWHERE.  After Carl “replies” to one of the food critics nastier tweets about him (Carl thinks privately but not so much) a Twitter war erupts between them.

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Carl invites him to review a whole new menu to prove him wrong, but is yet again told he can’t tinker with the menu by his boss, to which Carl unceremoniously quits on the spot.

The banter between the workers in the restaurant is realistic (albeit maybe a little too much so) which probably cost the film a PG-13 rating for an R (mostly due to a plethora of F-Bombs early on in the film) which is slightly odd considering the films target audience.

Carl’s Ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) asks him to come along to Miami to help watch their son and to clear his head.

Inez also has ulterior motives to have Carl accept an offer to run a food truck from Her Ex-Husband (before Carl) Played by none other than Robert Downey Jr.

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Carl agrees and starts the work to make this useable:

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When word gets out that Carl is starting a food truck, his friend Martin (John Leguizamo) hops on the first plane to Miami to join him making food for the love of it again.

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After some Legwork and some Father-Son Bonding, the finished product is a sight to behold!

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With a renewed enthusiasm The 3 amigos set off from Miami across country selling their wares on their way to California running into interesting people along the way like Russell Peters as a Cop who recognizes Carl from  his meltdown shown on Tosh.0 and wants to take a pic

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With Percy Documenting their travels in real time on Twitter, the food truck gets a large following at all the places they stop along their route.  Between working together at the truck, and Carl being impressed with his son’s Tech-savvy ways, the 2 continue to bond

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The 3rd act albeit short, ties back together some open plot points from earlier in the film and Carl realizes that what his son really wants is to spend time with him.  This film is not original, but what it does well is show that when someone is doing something they love, they begin to enjoy life instead of simply existing.

Stephen Burt

Stephen Burt

I'm just a Big Movie/TV/Gaming nerd that loves geekdom