Film review: Layer Cake

Layer Cake
2004
Marv Films

STARRING Daniel Craig, Tom Hardy, Jamie Foreman, Sally Hawkins, Burn Gorman, Colm Meaney, Dexter Fletcher, Ben Whishaw, Sienna Miller, Jason Flemyng, Michael Gambon
WRITTEN BY J.J. Connolly
PRODUCED BY Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn
DIRECTED BY Matthew Vaughn

SHOT BY Ben Davis
EDITED BY Jon Harris
MUSIC BY Ilan Eshkeri, Lisa Gerrard
DISTRIBUTED BY Sony Pictures Classics, Columbia Pictures

Seen on 2005-04-26

[2010-07-19: this was my first real film review. Be gentle.]

Director/producer Matthew Vaughn appears to be a large fan of David Fincher, borrowing/pocketing a great number of classy effects… and while the story is certainly well-structured, one watches and wonders if the structure didn’t master the creation of the film. Layer Cake’s greatest hindrance is its reliance on explanation to move action forward; the film is almost entirely expository, and coupled with the drifty, trippy, drug-inspired qualities, feels less like a crime thriller than a cool crime story relayed to you by your stoner friend.

The story follows well-to-do coke-dealer (Daniel Craig) on his last days in the business, and the harrowing, yet decidedly lethargic, details of his grand exodus. Coming into possession of one million pills of ecstasy, the future seems bright for our nameless narrator (XXXX), but as he circumvents the webs laid for him by his newly discovered friends and enemies, he learns a little bit about himself as well, leaving the audience plenty of time to stare at himself thinking about himself. XXXX is a tad too intelligent and savvy for his counterparts and his good will is, more than not, turned against him. Yet his character stands as a fitting paradigm of the film itself – moody, well-intended, intelligent, mostly successful.

written by David Ashley

Links:
Film’s site
Trailer
My interview participation with Daniel Craig & Matthew Vaughn

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