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Layer Cake (2005)
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Review Date: June 06, 2005
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: J.J. Connolly
Producers: Matthew Vaughn, Adam Bohling, David Reid
Actors:
Daniel Craig as XXX
Colm Meaney as Gene
Michael Gambon as Eddie
Plot:
A drug dealer with the intent of leaving the business after his proverbial “last deal” gets in a little over his head when his boss-man asks him to track down the junkie daughter of a friend. What starts off as your basic British crime flick, twists and turns its way into a…well, a damn decent British crime flick. Brits and crime ensue!
Critique:
Yet another solid British crime drama with believable performances, a strong lead showing by one of the many actors apparently still up for the role of the next James Bond, Daniel Craig, many twists and turns, many underground happenings and a pretty whack ending. Before I get into the nuts and bolts of my review, allow me to say that I heard a ton of praise for this film before my screening, so perhaps I was expecting a little too much from it. Unlike Guy Ritchie’s gangster flicks, which the director of this movie, Matthew Vaughn, produced, this film doesn’t rely so much on style or humor to keep things rolling, but does spark similarities in the extreme amount of characters flowing in-and-out of its storyline. That, along with the strong accents by most everyone in the cast, did stray my interest in the plot from time to time, as I wouldn’t completely understand what everyone was saying, or who every single person was (Ritchie dumbed that shit down for his audiences by “introducing” his characters to us). Now while I certainly wouldn’t recommend that this film be “dumbed down”, I have to honest in saying that too many characters, turns and accents, messed me up at times. That said, the film played very well overall, with crime, bad guys, badder guys and plenty of back-stabbings, red herrings and creepy Eastern European muthafuckas padding it all up.

Craig also has to be acknowledged as the pin holding most of this machine together, with his piercing blue eyes, his sharp edges and his character’s vulnerability, making him a generally pleasant fella to follow (unlike most crime flicks, this dude is actually in over-his-head most of the time and isn’t a know-it-all). The film also features nice directing, a couple of memorable sequences (Craig perched under a brush with a tag-shooter was the tits), a decent soundtrack and an ending that I initially really disliked, but after thinking about it for a few minutes, appreciated quite a bit. It’s one of those “I can’t believe they did that! – oh, I get it…alright, I guess that works” sorta conclusions. The inclusion of an extremely hot tamale by the name of Sienna Miller didn’t hurt either, although sadly for us, her presence in the film isn’t exactly developed (she’s there for a reason, but really, I think she was hired to look really, really hot in a couple of scenes for the sake of the film’s trailer and advertising campaigns). All in all, I have to say that I enjoy watching movies like SNATCH and LOCK, STOCK just a touch more than films of this sort, simply because they offer a little more in your “basic entertainment value”, but this film still kicks a whole bunch of ass, and if crime flicks are your bag o’ weed, you should be able to get a nice buzz off this one.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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