The Menu – Blu-ray Review

The Menu

It’s best to go into The Menu without as much information as possible. With that, Mark Mylod’s The Menu is an intelligent and darkly humorous mystery thriller. Throughout the film, as it exposes each revelation, The Menu finds itself as delectable as Chef Slowik’s predetermined course—all the way to its sweet, sweet dessert finale. 

Much of that savory deliciousness comes from the film’s ensemble cast. The personalities of each character (unpleasant or otherwise) determine whether we care about them. Chief among them is Anya Taylor-Joy’s Margot. The most normal out of this band of elitist misfits—she represents us, the regular moviegoing audience. At the same time, Hong Chau’s Elsa, Slowik’s right-hand confidant, draws your attention, and her performance demands respect. Yet, the biggest draw is the unsettling cultish performance of Ralph Fiennes’ Chef Slowik.

However, the film is a slow-burn thriller. Like a pressure cooker, the plot slowly cooks until it reaches a boiling point where it blows its lid. Of course, if you’re cooking in a pressure cooker, you’re doing it wrong. However, for The Menu, it works. 

Screenwriters Seth Reiss and Will Tracy crafted a story about elitism and obsession. While the themes fit into Adam McKay’s wheelhouse (he’s one of the producers), the film feels like a film that A24 would release than Fox Searchlight. It’s more like Parasite than The Big Short. Also, Mark Mylod (HBO’s Succession) combines a visually intimate and terrifying location with the fascinating cuisine visuals of Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

Overall, The Menu is a delicious mystery thriller with a sizable helping of satirical and social commentary. Although the premise (once fully revealed) is simple, the movie shows that sometimes simple is best if it has the right ingredients and the cook prepares with a lot of TLC. With The Menu, Chef Mark Mylod crafts his dish using the perfect complement of actors and cooks it just right.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

The Menu - Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult

Video

The Menu hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Much like The Banshees of InisherinThe Menu is another Fox Searchlight flick that I wish made it onto Ultra HD. Nevertheless, the video presentation is as flawless as a 1080p transfer can get. For one thing, the food shots (filmed by those who did Netflix’s Chef’s Table) beautifully highlight all the food details and colors. The shadows and light look natural and showcase the scale and depth of the film. Although the colors are subdued, the more striking colors leap off the screen. The picture looks crisp and sharp and perfectly displays the immaculate attention to detail that would make Chef Slowik proud.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

The Menu - Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy

Audio

The Menu hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Suppose the lack of an Ultra HD Blu-ray release is disappointing. Then, the absence of a Dolby Atmos track (even though the film has an Atmos track) is even more disappointing. Don’t get me wrong; the 5.1 DTS-HD mix is excellent, but an Atmos track would’ve been better. There is surprising sound movement and activity for a film such as this. Early in the movie, a voice on the loudspeaker moves across the soundstage. Also, when Chef Slowik claps his hands, the echo reverberates across the stage. Atmospheric sounds like the cooks cooking in the back or the sounds of a busy restaurant keep the audience fully engaged. Also, the dialogue and Colin Stetson’s score are crisp and distinct throughout.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

The Menu - Judith Light, Reed Birney, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Grosz, Anya Taylor-Joy, Hong Chau, Paul Adelstein, Janet McTeer, Ralph Fiennes, Rob Yang, Aimee Carrero, Arturo Castro, Mark St. Cyr, and John Leguizamo

Special Features

The Menu‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • Open Kitchen: A Look Inside The Menu
    • First Course
    • Second Course
    • Dessert
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Scene 4
    • Scene 7
    • Scene 57
Features Assessment

Open Kitchen isn’t about making The Menu but highlighting the delectable food and the pros brought in to craft them. There is also a discussion from the screenwriters and actor Ralph Fiennes about creating an environment and character that is as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, the featurette could be more informative and entertaining. At the same time, the deleted scenes don’t add much to the overall storyline. So, you can see why they were left on the cutting room floor.

Special Features Rating: 2/5 atoms


Overall, The Menu is a yummy satirical mystery thriller that’s constantly intelligent, hilarious, and engaging. The video and audio presentations are exquisite, but the special features are feeble.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

The Menu hits stores on Blu-ray on January 17th.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

Facebook Comments