Oh this film implodes with fury and spite, and I somehow can't get over the marshmallow hats. (slight spoiler, whoops) One man's vengeance and platitude of being a highly skilled, prestigious chef of such a stellar reputation is lashing out from past traumas as some galvanizing quest in his magnum opus. This is illustrated later on in how he presents his one of a kind cuisine to a bunch of foodie extremists, who in the end ingest more than they bargain for.
THE MENU, directed by Mark Mylod is a dark horror, comedy is a satire of how wealthy people shit on people in the service industry. And look, I've worked in the hospitality industry for 11 years and in that chapter of my life, our company strived for absolute excellence. However, given the type of clientele we served, the majority were numb-skulls who lack utter awareness and common sense. So the premise of this movie for anyone who's worked in the service industry, who's dealt with shitty people will be moderately delighted, if anything laugh at its absolute absurdity. And for those who don't accept gratuitous violence, sit this one out. Also why are people so snobby with food? Get over yourselves. The camaraderie of wealthy elites boast about is nauseating, but hilariously enough is also what keeps the ball in motion. If you've seen BATTLE ROYALE, SQUID GAME, or THE HUNT then you'll understand right away how this decadent feast is layered. Judgement day has arrived and these creeps are going down.
There's an actor, his assistant, some food critics, a group of tech guys, an unhappy married couple, a girl named Margo and her date all invited to the exclusive, premier island/restaurant known as the Hawthorn where they will all be served a cuisine like no other prepared by renowned chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) and his culinary army. Which all feels kinda cult-y to me, but all the patrons are so self absorbed in their own orbits and blasé to really figure out what's about to go down. Slowik's maddening feast is a representation of an artist who creates works of art perhaps for his calculated pleasure, or his masochistic soul, where every detail planned meticulously through each guest's wrongdoing to which they deny, hide, or lie about through the course of the meal. There's not one likable character in any of these chain of events. The tone starts off with suspense, meanders into humor, and is hijacked into full on terror, back to more humor. Ralph Fiennes is a menace but gives Margo (Anya Taylor-Joy) an everyday new to this world escort, a choice to be one of them or be like the rest of the obsessive foodies in the room. If anything "obsession" is the predominant theme among the many who cleanse their palettes for grandeur and those fixated on perfecting such a presentation for absolute prominence. Did obsessing over anything ever make anyone's life any better? Probably not. THE MENU at times feels like a mildly daffy homage to Looney Tunes, an elaborate charade where one man is just out of his mind and instead of just leaving the food world behind he chooses to abide by the saying, "misery loves company." So why not just bring in all the miserable souls who made his life hell on a bon voyage tour of his greatest hits bound to a destination where smoke and flame hover into the midnight air. It makes you truly wonder about people's capabilities when they dedicate their entire life's work to something where all the pain and joy coagulate into a frivolous concoction of dismay and regret. Going on living and doing something entirely different is never part of the equation or even a solution. It's always some kind of extreme which makes me wonder if it's a pride or ego thing. If you enjoyed the film BEATRIZ AT DINNER, which shares so many commonalities about wealth, the environment, the divide between master and servant with a flair of violent fantasy gone awry then you will enjoy THE MENU. It's a hot, messy hoot.