Another day, another cool British crime movie to watch. By now I think you’ve already realized that I’m somewhat of a fan of this weird subgenre. Popularized in the nineties by Guy Ritchie, it’s continuing its rise in the new century. Based on a novel and much more serious, Layer Cake is a different kind of British crime movie. It’s more immersive and personal than its predecessors and offers an engaging story of a man who wants to get out of the drug game. But, as we all know, that oftentimes proves to be incredibly difficult.
The whole movie is designed in such a way that you can fully imagine yourself as our lead character. A lead character who doesn’t even have a name. So, we’re thrust into this life of crime full of colorful characters making shit pop. Drug deals, kidnappings, murders, and crazy Serbian hitmen all await you in Layer Cake. Since the original novel was published in 2000, I dare to say that the author probably drew inspiration from Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher. However, all of this is pretty standard-issue stuff when it comes to crime thrillers.
Of course, I don’t need to tell you that the production values, camera work, and all the other technical aspects were on-point. The movie enjoys taking the time to fully explain to us what’s going on and how we got there. How the drug trade began in England, why a highly educated guy is whipping cocaine and all the other juicy stuff. The characters are well-developed and authentic, making rational decisions. This further pulls you into this crime world.
The man we’re about to meet is very careful when it comes to his identity. He’s one of the biggest drug dealers in London and yet we do not know his name. He’s smart, resourceful, and knows when to get out of the game. However, before he does that, he must complete two tasks. He must find a missing beautiful woman and make sure that the drug deal involving the sale of one million ecstasy pills goes okay.
Layer Cake stars young Daniel Craig before he became James Bond. Actually, it was the role in this movie that convinced the studios that he would be perfect for that role. And we also have another young star here, namely, Tom Hardy. The rest of the cast consists of dependable actors like Colm Meaney, Tamer Hassan, and Michael Gambon. I also must mention Sienna Miller as Tammy as she played her role pitch-perfect. Layer Cake is a movie you need to see at least two times. And I’m not saying that just because there are so many cool characters and twists in the movie.
I’m saying that because I think only then you would be able to fully appreciate its quality. The way the multilayered story satisfyingly comes together and how different character arcs reach their full potential. All thanks to that glorious script written by the author of the original novel, J.J. Connolly. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Layer Cake check out RocknRolla, The Football Factory, and Sexy Beast.
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: J.J. Connolly
Cast: Daniel Craig, Tom Hardy, Colm Meaney, Tamer Hassan, George Harris, Brinley Green
Fun Stuff: The word fuck appears 201 times in the script.