Movie Review: The Menu Featured

Andy McKinney November 20, 2022 58

This is the time of year for movie makers to pull out all the stops.

Big Idea

  • The Menu might not aspire to Best Picture, but it is fun, clever and very witty 
  • It is billed as a dark comedy/horror
  • The writers have a long history with TV and satire
  • The movie is rated "R" for language - no sex and very little blood
  •

Quirky & witty

This part of the movie year, the space between Halloween and New Year's Eve, is stuffed with films made by ambitious movie makers wanting to win an Oscar. The movie makers pull out all the stops, talent-wise, and go for it. The recent tiny but intense movie "Tar" is an example. "The Menu" might not aspire to Best Picture, but it is fun, clever, original, and very witty in a dark way. It is billed as a dark comedy/horror. 

Seth Riss and Will Tracy, the writers, have a short sheet with the big screen but a long history with TV. Riss penned 104 episodes of the satirical news show "The Onion." It is so cleverly written that many people thought it was real news. His co-writer Will Tracy has also written for "The Onion" and many other comic TV shows. We can detect their touch everywhere in the dialogue of the movie.

Director Mark Mylod has only three other big screen projects but masterminded twenty-three episodes of the remarkable TV series "Entourage." "The Menu" also has two of my favorite up-and-coming actors in the leading roles. Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy play a young couple who travel to an island and dine at a restaurant owned by a celebrity chef. Hoult had the romantic lead in the Zombie re-telling of the Romeo and Juliet story. In "Warm Bodies," true love triumphs even over Zombified death. Taylor-Joy seems to be everywhere these days. We saw her recently in "Amsterdam." Ralph Fiennes plays the chef. John Leguizamo has a small role, but you should watch for him.

This movie was wonderful entertainment. The director brought us step by step up to the point where we discovered what was what in the story. He did it with careful, adroit moves. I would put this movie in with psychological thrillers rather than comic horror. And the acting is first-rate from the entire cast. Finnes seems as if he really is brilliantly demented. John Leguizamo plays against his usual comic self and brings self-conscious pathos to his role as a washed-up actor.

"The Menu" runs for one hour and forty-six minutes. Be warned. This movie has an R rating for bad words. There is no sexual business, and the bloody stuff is subdued, unlike splatter films. You will be as delighted with this fresh, original, and delightfully weird four-and-a-half sawblade movie as I was. Fun fact: Parts of the movie were shot on Jekyll Island, Georgia, the place where the idea for the United States Federal Reserve idea was hashed out.



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Last modified on Sunday, 20 November 2022 08:36
Published in Arizona News

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