I must admit that after seeing the initial trailers, each focused on an individual character, that I was slightly worried about the final product. I was worried that Chef Excellence was too much of a departure from the Tesco Value gin drinking Italian we all know and love. I worried that the film would be overloaded with secondary characters that would detract from the film. I must confess to also being worried that Stuart would be a bit wooden in the acting department.
So when it was released I sat down to watch the film ready to be disappointed... but then I laughed. And again. I laughed virtually from beginning to end.
My fears were completely blown out of the water within a matter of minutes. From an absolutely brilliant Bond-inspired intro sequence to the very last post-credits scene this really is a gem.
Despite my initial hesitation regarding Stuart's acting ability I was pleasantly surprised. Aside from a couple of moments of woodenness on the whole he is great. He really comes across as a very likable lead and his comic timing is perfect.
The rest of the cast are just as good. Dan Tomlinon played a very different Chef Excellence than we have seen before but it is a change that works. He flirts from sad to manic all in a second and his rivalry with a certain other chef is, er, brilliant. From Guru Larry and Crabstickz to Warwick Davis and Robert Llewellyn the film is full of memorable parts. The brilliant thing is that none of them outstay their welcome and slow the film down. The film always remains focused on our unlikely hero and his even more unlikely sidekick.
With a script that references everything from 'The Goonies' to 'Indiana Jones' it really is a cracking film.
I would even say that I enjoyed this more than recently released 'The Worlds End', which is a real testament to everyone involved with the film.
Well done lads.