When a seemingly straight-forward drug deal goes awry, XXXX has to break his die-hard rules and turn up the heat, not only to outwit the old regime and come out on top, but to save his own skin...
It's a shame that Matthew Vaughn hasn't directed anything since this, his debut, that has even slightly interested me because on the basis of this, I'm sure the films he has made are probably very good. Layer Cake certainly was.
The British gangster movie genre is one that quickly became derided after the release of Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, and with some justification. It has given way to a raft of truly dreadful films, all trying to ape the success of Guy Ritchie's breakout film. How bizarre it is, then, that it took one of his collaborators on Lock, Stock And Two Smoking…
Film 27 of The December Project
Twenty minutes into Layer Cake, there's a magic moment when some hyper, moustachioed muppet is jabbering in Daniel Craig's ear, talking about the Duke, slobsome shell-suit wearer extraordinaire: “Charisma, he's fuckin' got it...you can't deny it...” Craig sits still and pinstriped, silently ruling the space with his arm stretched along the back of the sofa, gazing straight at the camera with those blue crystal eyes. We know the director means those words about Craig, and, yes, this guy looks like the next fucking Bond alright.
He is the guy who can sort it all out. At every blasted Murphy's law twist of the plot, for a few minutes he's exactly fazed enough to be…
"You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son"
I really can't find much wrong with this film at all. Sure, on paper it might sound like your average Guy Ritchie film, but this is probably one of the sharpest, darkly funny, smartest films I've seen.
The cast is pretty much spot on. Daniel Craig absolutely nails the lead role down, whilst showing exactly why he was chosen to play Bond. George Harris and Colm Meaney almost steal the film from him…
There are some great English gangster movies out there. Most of them are made by Guy Ritchie: Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels are both impressive, yet still thuggish, examples of the genre.
Matthew Vaughn's directorial debut of Layer Cake somehow simultaneously is a great film and works to "class up" the English gangster genre. In the words of the nameless main character himself (a great performance by Daniel Craig): "I'm not a gangster, I'm a businessman." This is as true of him as it is of the movie.
The adaptation is well-done and interesting enough that I just might pick up the novel. Of course, that's usually to be expected when the author adapts the screenplay. The…
"England. Typical. Even drug dealers don't work weekends. "
Should I give this that extra half-star? Yeah, why not.
I'm going to say it - I love everything about this film. Matthew Vaughn's brilliant visual style, a cast that includes a superspy, two wizards, an international terrorist and a member of Starfleet, an amazing soundtrack (fact: 'Gimme Shelter' automatically makes a film 20% more awesome), a plot that keeps you guessing and never knowing quite how it's going to end, some amazing quotes and of course, that beatdown in the cafe.
This just proves that we Brits can make crime movies that aren't just Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones glaring at each other.
Take that, Scorsese.
Film 2 of the Adapted April Challenge
First off a huge thanks to Toby Dennison for recommending this movie.
I loved it.
While it is definitely a gangster film, it is so much classier than I'm used to seeing. Daniel Craig gives us something of a preview to what we would later see in his take on Bond, all of the supporting cast are perfect and the story zigzags all over the place, keeping you on your toes throughout.
So many times whilst watching this I thought I had a handle on where it was going, only for it to completely blow those expectations out of the water. (The ending was certainly not what I was expecting.)
Vaughn has a…
ok so to put it onto context: I have heard the greatness of this film for some tine. I was expecting the most amazing gangster film ever (in line with that of the Godfather) It wasn't.
I am giving it 4 1/2 stars because by God it was a good film, it just wasn't amazing. The colour yellow pretty much had a forboding sense the minute you saw it and the second i saw the iron in the first scene it appeared, I had a sense that it meant the end, just becuase of the box cover. I mean it practically meant everything is fucked! Good film just not as good as the hype made it out to be.
Tālajā 2004. gadā Džeimss Bonds centās tikt galā ar problēmām narkobiznesā un ,,Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" producents Matthew Vaughn mēģināja atkārtot Ričija filmas panākumus. Neveicās ne vienam, ne otram. Kreigs saprata, ka patiesībā ir labais puisis un apvilkās aģenta uzvalciņu, bet režisors Vaugh turpmāk bija labāks režisors labākām filmām.
Neslikta filma. Bet nu varēja labāk - vienkāršāk un smieklīgāk.
An entertaining while somewhat complex film with fantastic acting and an interesting story. All in all okay.
This film may be a bit convoluted and confusing at times and it also might be hard to actually hear what the actors are saying with their dialects, but it's still a lot of fun! Daniel Craig is great as a suave/hapless criminal mastermind. A great debut from one of my favorite directors, Matthew Vaughn.
Matthew Vaughn channels a precise, fast-paced visual style, and Daniel Craig inhabits Bond before he became Bond.
But, Layer Cake juggles so many different characters that it's hard to know where to look when watching. It's a cool to the point of being held back. Like, what was the point of casting Sienna Miller anyway? She doesn't do much. Many threats end up not being all that threatening at all. Motivations are lost in the mix of drugs constantly swapping hands. And what was the point of not giving Craig a name anyway? The best U.K. drug movie title still goes to Trainspotting. Just reading the book would probably be better.
I've been feeling a bit patriotic lately, so I've been on a little bit of a binge of British cinema, and films like Layer Cake prove that our crime/action/thrillers don't have to be dark, gritty and full of cockneys... (not that that's a bad thing). Very intelligent, sophisticated and good-looking throughout, well-written dialogue, authentic feeling characters with strengths and weaknesses and realistic plot twists and developments all contribute to a good, solid film. No frills to speak of, and admittedly not mindblowing, but it's hard to deny the quality is definitely there.
A dark, grisly and cynical exploration of the London underworld that features real characters instead of the charicatures that feature in distant cousin Lock Stock. Matthew Vaugh's smooth and grand direction is a delight, Daniel Craig is powerful and nuanced in the lead and this belongs in the upper echelons of British gangster movies.
Matthew Vaughn is THE MAN.
Dude made X-Men: First Class. That alone makes him the man.
But he also made THIS.
THIS FILM IS BADASS.
IT'S LIKE ANOTHER SNATCH.
It's maybe not quite as good as Snatch, but if you want more of that, WATCH THIS.
I mean that in the best way possible.
Dude also made Stardust, which is great shut up.
He did Kick-Ass too, which I didn't like when I saw but I'm pretty sure I was wrong.
I'm totally gonna check it out again now though.
Because MATTHEW VAUGHN IS THE MAN.
And so is Daniel Craig and Tom Hardy and Michael Gambon.
My name is X, XXXX
I can see clearly why Daniel Craig was picked up as the new Bond.
He has the charisma, the coolness of bond.
But aside from that, the film is incredible. The direction by Matthew Vaughn is really good, and the script is terrific.
I always love good films that keep the plot opening up, which is fitting with the title. The plot feels like layers of a cake. As the movie progresses, more info and new characters enter the film.
Its funny to see how Vaughn, who produced all of Guy Ritchie's films, make a better British gangstar film than Ritchie.