A tale of killers, cops and haute cuisine, Bone In The Throat is a slick, stylish and refreshingly modern gangster thriller. Based on the book by chef-turned-author-turned-TV personality Anthony Bourdain, director/co-writer Graham Henman transports the story from Manhattan’s Little Italy to a fine-dining restaurant in gritty each London.
Will Reeves (Westwick) is the white sheep of the family. A talented and ambitious young chef, he’s tied to the mob by blood, though trying his best to steer clear of their influences. However, working late one night to try and win the vacant head chef position, Will witnesses a murder in his own kitchen, and with the mob unsure if they can trust him, it’s not long before the underworld starts to close in around him.
Food is as much a character in Bone In The Throat as its leads. From the sliced white loaf eating policeman to Westwick’s brilliant chef, the imagery is a clever reflection of the characters. This sharp writing gives the cast a real lease of life. For Ed Westwick this is exactly the sort of film he should be doing post-Gossip Girl, and he’s excellent with his back to the wall, under pressure from in the kitchen and from the mob. As Will’s uncle and criminal underling, Ronnie The Rug, Andy Nyman skates the line between the sublime and the ridiculous. A stereotypical East End geezer in all the right ways, Nyman provides much of the film’s light relief with a wildly neurotic and frequently hilarious creation, though you’re not often laughing at him, not with him.
Bone In The Throat isn’t short on high-octane moments or a thrilling climax, but it is the tension of every one-to-one relationship that makes the film tick. It’s a film in the vein of Guy Richie’s stellar early work, as power plays off against bravado, and the fraught cops are always three steps behind.
With the kitchen front and centre in everything the film has to offer, Anthony Bourdain’s first big screen-adaptation is a roaring success. Bone In The Throat is a wildly funny, irreverent and understated tale of murder, mayhem, and the mob.