THE MENU (2022)
Dark humored flick has passionate foodie Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) taking date Margo (Anya Taylor-Joy) to an exclusive, private island located restaurant run by world famous master chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). Margo is unimpressed with all the pretention and performance, but that is the least of her worries. Chef Slowik has brought all his guests there with a specific purpose in mind and feeding them is only part of his plan. Margo and the rest of the guests soon realize that not everyone…or possibly anyone…is going to leave this elite dining experience alive.
Thriller with a grim but amusing sense of humor is very well directed by Mark Mylod from a taut script and story by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy. It is an extremely satirical film that skewers celebrity chefs, their pretentious dishes and the elitists who pay ridiculous prices to consume them, among other things. It also has some violent, disturbing and bloody moments, though one does find oneself snickering as these snobby aristocrats and arrogant wannabes get what’s coming to them. The film also has some poignant moments, too as Slowik’s eventually revealed motivations are actually somewhat sympathetic. He has a point about his pompous clientele. It’s a smart script with a top-notch cast that all give solid performances. Standing out are the impeccable Fiennes as the secretly demented Slowik and star on the rise Taylor-Joy as Margo, a woman with secrets of her own. It’s a deliciously slow cooked dark satire that is all the more savory as it takes it’s time to tell its sinisterly garnished story well and expertly builds to its intense finale…while providing a few appetizing chuckles along the way. A very well written, acted and directed black comedy/thriller. Highly recommended.