The Menu — Movie Review

by KJ Proulx

Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy in ‘The Menu’ [Credit: Searchlight Pictures]

When an original concept comes along that looks good, I will always try to get out to the movies for it. Original films don’t get seen often enough these days and that’s a shame, because I have a feeling The Menu is going to go under the radar. This weird and unique premise had me hooked from the start and as long as you’re in for a weird time, I think you may even come close to loving it as I did. As long as you know what kind of film you’re in for, here’s why I’d recommend The Menu.

Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) travel to a remote island to indulge in an extravagant meal. Margot is just along for the ride, as Tyler is the one with money and wishing to splurge. Once the meal portion of the night begins, many surprises begin to occur. The head Chef (Ralph Fiennes) had prepared many courses, each of which is crazier than the last. Where this film eventually goes may be too much for some viewers, but I found it all to be dark and hilarious. It’s a very serious film that’s also self-aware, which made this very simple premise so much more enjoyable.

I can’t dive into what else made me love watching this film so much, but I’ll just say that Ralph Fiennes gives one of the best performances I’ve seen from him. His presence kept my eyes glued to the screen. You can predict where the film is going, but I still found myself shocked at times. His back and forth with Anya Taylor-Joy are massive highlights here. I never thought I would enjoy watching such a crazy man completely chew up the scenery, but I was “devouring” every second of it.

Overall, this is simply a film about a group of rich people that wish to dine at a very exclusive place. Dark things start to happen and the film becomes wacky and weird. That’s all I can really say, so it’s hard to review this one in detail. I would love to see director Mark Mylod make more feature films, because he’s clearly very talented. Peter Deming also crafts some superb imagery as the cinematographer here and what was visually on screen is just one more reason I loved this one so much. There’s not much to the story in the end, but all of the dark humour and underlying messages really won me over. I thought The Menu was great, but I can see how some viewers will not.

Rating: 4.5/5

Check out the trailer below:

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Film Lover First. Critic Second.

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