Friday, September 23, 2011

Movie: Layer Cake (3.5/5 stars) (2004)

Layer Cake is marginally a gangster movie, even though the gangsters in it don't think of themselves as gangsters - they are businessmen who happen to deal in cocaine etc...

Staring Daniel Craig as an unnamed protagonist (billed as XXXX in the credits) being pulled on all sides by many hostile forces, Layer Cake is a superbly crafted, cleverly written, somewhat sanitized view into the English underworld. Along with Craig is a solid list of supporting actors, all excellent in their roles. George Harris plays Morty, a likable and friendly gangster with a nasty temper who is XXXX's link to the criminal world. Colm Meany plays Gene, a long time toughie who is super-loyal to their drug-lord boss and Michael Gambon, playing Eddie Temple, an even higher-up, scary, gangster who pokes his fingers in to stir things up. Along with them is a long, long list of smaller roles, almost always funny and entertaining.

Music, directing, acting, writing are all finely polished here. There is little to fault the movie on and I found myself entertained the entire way though. I have a thing against drug movies, but even so, it is hard not to like this. The plot is constantly twisting and finely knotted at the end and one gentle tug unravels it all in front of your eyes for a satisfying climax. I am surprised I've never watched it before now and only got it through a friend's recommendation. Well worth your time.


Violet said...

we saw that on tv a while back and enjoyed it. It was far better than most Jason Stratham films anyway!

Determinist said...

Jasaon Stratham needs writers like this for his movies! Although, if you want to see a good one from him, I liked "Cellular". He's a bad guy in that one.