Layer Cake Reviews
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Unfortunately, whilst ambitious, it lacks overall narrative flow and in-the-moment focus. This may be forgiveable if the film spent longer looking at the lead characters, but sadly these great performances aren't given enough room to make you truly care. Left in that void is a lot to admire for sure, but little to actually engage.
VERDICT: Layer Cake left me wallowing in the web of plots and themes, albeit whilst looking in vague admiration at the whit and style with which it's all delivered.
'Layer Cake' is a good crime comedy, featuring electric direction from Matthew Vaughn, a funny script, and the best performance from Daniel Craig that I've ever seen. It even comes with an amazing ending, which would be really ballsy if I didn't know there were plans for a sequel.
The critical consensus of "Layer Cake" states that it is "A stylized, electric British crime thriller". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times remarked, "The movie was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who produced Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, and this one works better than those films because it doesn't try so hard to be clever and tries harder to be menacing". Of Craig's performance, he said, "Craig is fascinating here as a criminal who is very smart, and finds that is not an advantage because while you might be able to figure out what another smart person is about to do, dumbos like the men he works for are likely to do anything". Craig's starring role in the film has been cited as the performance that led to his high-profile casting as James Bond.
Matthew Vaughnīs "Layer Cake" carries the craziness, fast paced action, one liners, colourful character gallery and humour we saw in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch", however thatīs no wonder as Vaughn was involved in those films, but in "Layer Cake" I reckon Vaughn has found a better set up thatīs always balancing on the right side and never really goes over to the "too much of everything" side. Itīs got great visual style, excellent performances and a story that fits the genre so to speak. Daniel Craig is great as XXXX and with actors such as Michael Gambon, Tom Hardy (yes, small role) etc you canīt really go wrong, And Sienna Miller is just to die for in this film. I love that Vaughn has created a great soundtrack for the film as well, and I guess that he has learned that from Guy Ritchie. "Layer Cake" is as solid cool gangster thriller with a twist and I do love the ending. The original ending, the ending Sony Pictures wanted Vaughn to use, shows XXXX driving off into the sunset with Tammy. Vaughn secretly recorded the alternate ending, showing XXXX being shot by Sidney to the screening audience and ended up using it based on popular vote, stating "It was not like other American movie endings". Thumbs up for that Mr. Vaughn!