Chef – Movie Review
Chef – R
Release Date: Fri 30 May 2014
Jon Favreau and his 2010 film Iron Man are credited with the huge resurgence of superhero movies, particularly those made by Marvel. After well-publicized studio interference on Iron Man 2, Favreau left the franchise he put on the map and did not direct Iron Man 3. There is a bit of a metaphor at play in Chef, a movie about a man who has lost touch with his passion and has a restaurant job that is forcing him to play it safe and predictable rather than realize his own creative vision.
But before Iron Man, Favreau was mainly known for Swingers, his breakout hit and one of the funniest comedies you’ll ever see. It’s a matured version of this Favreau that we see in Chef. The movie is small but expertly crafted. Clever visual effects help tell the story rather than distract and become instantly forgotten. The cartoon birds that symbolize tweets are just one touch that illustrates social media without a reliance on people standing around using their phones like they’re re-making “You’ve Got Mail.”
The story sees Carl (Favreau) leave his domineering boss at the restaurant (Dustin Hoffman) to start a food truck specializing in Cuban sandwiches. He grudgingly takes his ten-year-old son along and ends up teaching him how to cook along with his friend Martin (John Leguizamo.) It’s a neat device where the son is teaching the father about social media and the Internet, and the father is teaching the son about work ethic, pride and making great food. It’ll make you laugh – and want a sandwich.
Cal, Zak and I saw it in the theater had a discussion in the car: