Review #17 Layer Cake
Directed by- Matthew Vaughn
Starring- Daniel Craig, Sienna Miller and Michael Gambon
It’s up there with those types of Brit-gangster movies like Lock Stock and Snatch. They’re all good movies, but there isn’t really much of a plot to follow.
In Layer Cake, Daniel Craig’s character (who obviously remains nameless- clever drug baron move) wants to retire early from cocaine dealing, when his last two jobs are quite hard and different compared to what he’s used to. He actually comes across as somebody who sees drug-dealing as a career, he protests bitterly when he’s told to shoot somebody, and invests in property, so he seems like he’s on the straight and narrow and has somewhere sensible to put his money in. However, his last drug deal gets rocked as the drugs are intercepted, and Craig has to find the daughter of one of his socialite friends.
The acting can’t be faulted, even if the plot (or lack of) can be. Daniel Craig is good, in what must be one of his first big movies? Barbara Broccoli said this movie was what made her think about him for James Bond. Michael Gambon is also very good- obviously he will forever be Albus Dumbledore, but he suits his part as top dog British mafia gangster boss well, he’s the type of actor who demands respect regardless of the role he’s playing. The supporting cast is excellent as well, including the bell-man from Hotel Babylon, and Ben Wishaw- the new Q!
My criticism of this movie is that too much went on for me to be interested. It should have stuck to Daniel Craig instead of flicking to different drug gangs in different countries (unsurprisingly going to the Netherlands). However, this might suit some people. I have the same criticism for Lock Stock and Snatch. I enjoy the storylines but I want there to be a clear protagonist and antagonist, as opposed to different groups and the survivor simply being ‘the one who shot first’, as opposed to there being a victory (although I suppose that’s a victory in itself in one of these movies really).
It was described somewhere as being a ‘cult’ movie. I don’t really understand how if I’m honest. At the end I didn’t sort of think ‘woah, this is a stroke of genius!’, like I did with say, Donnie Darko (another ‘cult’ film). However, I wouldn’t hold it’s lack of cult(ureness?) against it.
Entertaining. Dark. Witty. Three and a half stars.