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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Taking a Bite Out Of Crime

The Menu on IMDb

Plot Overview

manFantasy Island ExpressThe Last Supperpencil in handSelect members of the 1% arrive by boat at private Hawthorne Island just off the coast to partake in a gastro­nomical adventure for the discriminating palate. Celebrity chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) & loyal staff have out­done them­selves preparing exquisite fare from food raised, caught, or grown locally. Regrettably how­ever, their communal life­style coupled with food obsession to the exclusion of all else has left them loony and their service deranged.


dinnercornucopiaThe lesson from this movie corresponds to an important one from the Proverbs, (Prov. 30:7) “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:”

(Prov. 30:8-9) “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Vanity and lies are here embodied by fading A-list movie star George Díaz (John Leguizamo) and dishonest business partners Soren (Arturo Castro,) Bryce (Rob Yang) and Dave (Mark St. Cyr.) Poverty, riches, and convenience food can be handily illustrated by a J.D. Rhoades novel:

They met in a waffle house a few blocks laterally and quite a few social strata vertically from the hotel. … Uncle Rafe placidly chewed a mouthful of hash browns. … ¶Branson looked at L.B.'s plate, piled high with scrambled eggs and hash browns, with a smaller plate of half-eaten bacon and an untouched but syrup-logged waffle. … ¶Branson had been living on Kraft Dinner and Top Ramen, scrounging every penny. … It was just as well he'd blown things with Stephanie. He couldn't afford to take her to a place like this, let alone any place date-worthy. … ¶Rafe reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of bills. “Tell you what,” he said, peeling a couple off. … “I can front you a little walkin' around money. Seein' how you're family and all.” He held the bills out. ¶Bran took them. There were two hundreds, worn and creased and slightly greasy. (28–30, 46)

secretary and bossPoverty is “living on Kraft Dinner and Top Ramen, scrounging every penny.” Chef Julian tells his guests the staple of the poor is grain—in the west wheat. He doesn't serve them actual bread, because they're not poor, just its garnishes. When I was in college I subsisted on spaghetti & tomato sauce. Díaz's personal assistant Felicity (Aimee Carrero) is putting her­self through college. She is likely poor, too. She's given into the temptation to steal from her boss. In Bible days the thief is likely to swear to God he didn't take it, diminishing God's reputation when he's found out. Here this dynamic is played out vicariously when food critic Lillian Bloom (Janet McTeer) gratuitously trashes the reps of good restaurants causing them to close.

football and flagConvenience food is the waffle house. Later in the day it's the hamburger joint like the one where our illustrious chef had worked in his younger years. Foodie Tyler's (Nicholas Hoult) paid escort for the evening was Margot Mills (Anya Taylor-Joy,) née Erin of Brockton, Mass. She gets around. She was put off by the fancy grub. Wasn't what she was used to.

Tyler “on the edge of the abyss” and his planned date Allison had broken up. She'd go for her fellow dropping a couple C-notes on her dinner. This one set him back $1250 for his dinner partner. Then Julian gave Margot a food prep task, which made maître d' Elsa (Hong Chau) envious thinking she was being replaced. They had a cat fight. She forgot the chef was lord of his domain whose right it was to decide who serves.

Feeling trapped one of the intellectuals quoted Martin Luther King (MLK) having said that the masters never voluntarily give up their dominance with­out force. Like MLK really knew what he was talking about. Depicted below is a scene rendered in a Civil War vintage wood­cut, made after a drawing by Julius Schnorr von Carols­feld (German painter, 1794–1872) from his archive, published in 1877.

drunken Noah and his three sons

The alternate image text by licensor iStock.com/Getty Images explains what happened here to Noah and his fermented grapes: “When he drank some of the wine, he got drunk and uncovered him­self inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers who were outside. Shem and Japheth took a garment and placed it on their shoulders. Then they walked in back­wards and covered up their father's nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so they did not see their father's nakedness (Genesis 9:21-23).” They covered the old man to prevent him from catching chill.

Ham had put himself in jeopardy according to, (Prov. 30:17) “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” Especially pertinent in this case is Noah's control over the animals including the raven (Gen. 8:7.)

eye trimThere's a parity of eye loss and servitude given in (Exodus 21:26) “And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.” Ham and his line—represented by Canaan in his lineage—could be given servitude rather than mutilation. In that woodcut-derived picture above we see Ham getting carried away by an eyeful of the dishabille inebriate, and gesturing with his hands to his brothers.

The Bible's account has it, (Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son [Ham] had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” When Noah woke up, he blessed as a pair the lines of his two respectful sons and cursed Ham's line­—pairing Ham with his youngest son Canaan as was Noah's wont to go by twos—giving them servitude to his other two sons'. (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.”

More germane to modern times is perhaps the lineage of Cush, Ham's oldest son (Gen. 10:6,) Cush meaning black in Hebrew, having settled in Africa, some of his to become in later years African-American slaves. Researcher Bodie Hodge confirms that, “As a general trend, Ham is the father of many peoples in Africa” (122). Dr. Ide adds, “Ham sired four sons: Cush (translates as ‘black’) … and Canaan the youngest” (62). It was God or God's man Noah who determined who served whom. Robert H. Bork in Slouching Towards Gomorrah (238) writes:

[Researchers] Peter Brimelow and Leslie Spencer … quote Charles Murray: “There's hardly a single outcome—black voting rights, access to public accommodation, employment, particularly in white collar jobs—that couldn't have been predicted on the basis of pre-1964 trend lines.” “That's pretty devastating,” the authors say. “It suggests that we have spent trillions of dollars to create an out­come that would have happened even if the govern­ment had done nothing.”

Martin Luther King
Jr.Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) in his Letter From Birmingham Jail penned a litany of complaints, rejected the counsel of “gradualism,” and touted “the fierce urgency of NOW.” He ends his letter with an apology: “If I have said any­thing in this letter that is an over­state­ment of the truth and is indicative of an unreason­able impatience, I beg you to forgive me.” Let's not hold it against him as he was caught up in the fever of his times. “Menu” also ratchets up the tension so we'd like to see the diners effect a mass exodus, but realistically we'd settle for a trickle, and then only for the one who helps the chef save face.

Production Values

” (2022) was directed by Mark Mylod. It was written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy. It stars Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult and Mark Mylod. Fiennes as the head chef is a low key Hitler. Taylor-Joy gives a savory performance as a hired escort pressed into service beyond her remit. Hoult brings off a laissez fair sap the very definition of a date from hell. Leguizamo is alright as a has-been star on the decline.

MPAA rated it R for strong/disturbing violent content, language throughout and some sexual references. It's enough to turn one's stomach. The humor is satiric and the ambience dark. It's like it took place on the wrong side of the tracks at the wrong end of the rainbow. This is a good one to wake up from if it were a dream.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

If you're into dark movies, you might like this one though I'd be careful whom I saw it with. There are movies just made to lift a body out of depression; this isn't one of them. Hey, it takes all kinds.

Movie Ratings

Special effects: Average special effects. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Action factor: Decent action scenes. Video Occasion: For when you need to count your blessings. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769, 1873. Print. Software.

The Book of Jasher. Trans­lated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print, Web.

Bork, Robert H. Slouching Towards Gomorrah. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. Print.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.

Ide, Arthur Frederick. Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homo­phobia and Hetero­sexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument Press, 1992. Print.

King Jr., Martin Luther. Letter From Birmingham Jail. 1963. Print.

Rhoades, J.D. Ice Chest. Copyright © 2016 by J.D. Rhoades. Hoboken: Polis Books, LLC, 2016. Print.