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A flawless, impressive, and damn cool crime drama

  • Dec 4, 2005
  • by
I bought "Layer Cake" for three reasons:

1) I heard it was great.
2) It sounded great.
3) I'm a big James Bond fan, so I thought I'd get an idea of what Daniel Craig will be like.

I had no idea it would be so good.

Daniel Craig plays XXXX - a nameless drug dealer who is preparing to retire. Then the problems just drop in his lap - crime boss Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) wants the impossible, reckless drug dealer The Duke (Jamie Foreman) is desperate to make cash of his huge collection of pills, and a sly crime boss (Dragan Micanovic) wants XXXX dead. Also, XXXX falls in love with a beautiful blonde (Sienna Miller) and befriends a wise crime boss (Michael Gambon).

The cast is great. Daniel Craig is fantastic - he'll make a very fine, albeit quite different 007. George Harris and Colm Meaney are very good as XXXX's business partners, Morty and Gene. Gambon is especially fine, playing a character quite different from his most popular role, Albus Dumbledore.

Matthew Vaughn, who produced Guy Ritchie's hits "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch.", makes an astounding directorial debut. There's some amazing stuff in here. To me, the most amazing scene of the film involves a murder inside a cafe. It was so unusually filmed and edited, it just blew me away.

The screenplay, by J.J. Connolly from his novel, is absorbing, occasionally funny, and very well-written. There's also an excellent soundtrack, including songs from The Cult and The Rolling Stones and a great score by Ilan Eshkeri & Lisa Gerrard.

"Layer Cake" blew me away. It's certainly one of my favorite films. By all means, see it. It's a flawless, impressive, and damn cool crime drama that ranks among the very best.

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More Layer Cake reviews
review by . June 26, 2007
"Layer Cake" was slightly entertaining but fell flat for me. I still have to give credit to film director Matthew Vaughn for his first feature film. He made a name for himself producing the crime-comedy classics "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch". Vaughn abandons the cheeky and comedic nature of those two films and attempts to make a serious crime film. The results are decidedly uneven, as the movie is a stylish but hollow outing.    In here we have XXX (Daniel …
review by . August 24, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
LAYER CAKE is a film to be watched with all of your senses alert: it is best viewed after a caffeine jag, or way before bedtime as it demands full attention to follow this circuitous and at times meandering plot. You have to work at this one but in the end the work pays off - sort of.    To begin with the main character (Daniel Craig) is a nameless 'good criminal' middleman working quietly producing Ecstasy pills. His motto is work small, stay quiet, pay your people on time, …
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Tom Benton ()
Ranked #352
Aspiring high school English teacher with dreams of filmmaking and a strong taste for music.
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As its title suggests,Layer Cakeis a crime thriller that cuts into several levels of its treacherous criminal underworld. The title is actually one character's definition of the drug-trade hierarchy, but it's also an apt metaphor for the separate layers of deception, death, and betrayal experienced by the film's unnamed protagonist, a cocaine traffic middle-man played with smooth appeal by Daniel Craig (rumored at the time of this film's release to be on the short list for consideration as the next James Bond). Listed in the credits only as "XXXX," the character is trapped into doing a favor for his volatile boss, only to have tables turned by his boss's boss (Michael Gambon) in a twisting plot involving a stolen shipment of Ecstasy, a missing girl, duplicitous dealers, murderous Serbian gangsters, and a variety of lowlifes with their own deadly agendas. As adapted by J.J. Connolly (from his own novel) and directed by Matthew Vaughan (who earned his genre chops as producer of Guy Ritchie'sLock, Stock, and Two Smoking BarrelsandSnatch),Layer Cakeimproves upon those earlier British gangland hits with assured pacing, intelligent plotting, and an admirable emphasis on plot-moving dialogue over routine action. Sure, it's violent (that's to be expected) and not always involving, but it's smarter than most thrillers, and Vaughan's directorial debut has a confident style that's flashy without being flamboyant. This could be the ...
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