Layer Cake (DVD, 2005, Special Edition, Widescreen) Reviews
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Layer Cake (DVD, 2005, Special Edition, Widescreen)

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England. Typical. Even drug dealers don't work weekends. LAYER CAKE

Sep 14, 2009 (Updated Sep 14, 2009)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Superb acting, tightly twisted plot, lots of profanity and violence.

Cons:Lots of profanity and violence.

The Bottom Line: It's like Guy Richie, without the humor, and a lot more nastiness.


Layer Cake (2004) Directed by Matthew Vaughn

You're born, you take sh*t. You get out in the world, you take more sh*t. You climb a little higher, you take less sh*t. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what sh*t even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son.

Daniel Craig plays a businessman.  His commodity is cocaine.  He has a business plan, very cautious, very conservative, and very responsible to everyone associated.  Don't get greedy.  Stick to the plan, and have an exit strategy.

All of his carefully groomed peace and calm go out the window when his boss wants a word.  The word is a favor, and it's a double dipper.  First, there is an ecstasy deal he wants him to do.  And he wants the daughter of HIS boss located.  No lack of credentials or reluctance avails.  Jimmie will have this done.

The problem is the ecstasy dealer, the Duke, is the polar opposite of our hero.  He is loud, obnoxious, conspicuous, stupid and greedy.  It is not a pretty combination.  Worse, he stole the drugs from some very bad men, who want them back.  And while they can't find the Duke, they can find our hero.

Every time he takes care of one problem, there is a worse one waiting for him.  It reminds me of the old woman who swallowed a fly, then a spider, then a bird...you get the idea.  Further, the girl seems to leave a trail of bodies in her wake.  And everyone wants a cut, a BIG cut, of the ecstasy.  Usually all of it.

Worse, every time he tries to get smarter and forestall trouble, his opponents are a step ahead of him.  If he thinks two steps ahead, they are three.  Add a killer hit man called the Dragan who is collecting the heads of everyone involved with the ecstasy, and things are looking dicey.

Like a lot of gangster movies, it shows the good life that most people would love to have, then shows the slow, or not so slow, descent into hell that the life brings.  In point of fact, it reminds me very much of Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.  Imagine your typical Guy Richie film, but replace all the clever comedy with very nasty malice, and you are just about right.

It has that same complex layering and action/reaction dynamic Richie does, but the aesthetic is much more Martin Scorsese.  And it is brutal.  There are several scenes of extreme violence, with very little other than Craig taking his shirt off, and Sienna Miller wearing lingerie (and very well, one might add) to call sex.  There was one lurid interlude in a pornoteria with live performers, and the Duke (yerk!) Mostly its violence.  And lots of bad language; of course, it is English profanity, so it sounds funny, and smutty, more than just dirty.  At any rate, definitely not something to wake the kids up to watch.

The Usual Suspects

 Daniel Craig ...  XXXX
Tom Hardy ...  Clarkie
Jamie Foreman ...  Duke
Sally Hawkins ...  Slasher
 Burn Gorman ...  Gazza
 Brinley Green ...  Nobby
George Harris ...  Morty
Tamer Hassan ...  Terry
Colm Meaney ...  Gene
Marcel Iures ...  Slavo
Francis Magee ...  Paul the Boatman
Dimitri Andreas ...  Angelo
Kenneth Cranham ...  Jimmy Price
 Garry Tubbs ...  Brian
 Nathalie Lunghi ...  Charlie
 Marvyn Benoit ...  Kinky
 Rab Affleck ...  Mickey
Dexter Fletcher ...  Cody
Steve John Shepherd ...  Tiptoes
 Ben Whishaw ...  Sidney
 Sienna Miller ...  Tammy
 Paul Orchard ...  Lucky
 Stephen Walters ...  Shanks
 Louis Emerick ...  Trevor
 Darren Healy ...  Junkie 1
 Matt Ryan ...  Junkie 2
 Ivan Kaye ...  Freddie Hurst
 Jason Flemyng ...  Crazy Larry
 Ben Brasier ...  Jerry
 Neil Finnighan ...  Troop
 Michael Gambon ...  Eddie Temple
 Budgie Prewitt ...  Golf Host
 Don McCorkindale ...  Albert Carter
 Dragan Micanovic ...  Dragan

This review, like Daniel Craig, is Lean-N-Mean.  It weighs in at a very concise 666 words.  With out the Usual Suspects, it is a very Lean 500 Words.


Recommend this product? Yes

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As deeply cool and urbane as its unnamed hero, LAYER CAKE follows the precise, articulate XXXX (Daniel Craig) as he maneuvers through what he intends ...
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