Layer Cake

Layer Cake

4.3 6
Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Daniel Craig, Colm Meaney, Kenneth Cranham


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A mechanic in the British drug trade finds himself caught in the middle of some dangerous circumstances in this crime thriller. XXXX (Daniel Craig) is a nameless go-between in the British mob who buys drugs from underground wholesalers and them sells them to street dealers, keeping the system flowing and making a tidy profit in the process. XXXX is looking forward to… See more details below


A mechanic in the British drug trade finds himself caught in the middle of some dangerous circumstances in this crime thriller. XXXX (Daniel Craig) is a nameless go-between in the British mob who buys drugs from underground wholesalers and them sells them to street dealers, keeping the system flowing and making a tidy profit in the process. XXXX is looking forward to getting out of the game, and has displayed both smarts and caution in how he's handled his business, but before his overseer Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) will let him go, he has a couple of favors that need to be done. First, Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon) is a mob boss whose daughter has gotten hooked on hard drugs and run away from home; Jimmy needs XXXX to find them girl and bring her to him before Eddie's men can get hold of her. Second, Dragan (Dragan Micanovic) is a Ecstasy wholesaler who has had a large shipment stolen by Duke (Jamie Foreman); Jimmy wants XXXX to get the Ecstasy back to Dragan, but Duke isn't eager to sell and Dragan is becoming impatient. Between these two matters, XXXX isn't so sure he'll get out of the business alive, especially after he finds himself falling for Duke's nephew's girlfriend, Tammy (Sienna Miller). Layer Cake marked the directorial debut for Matthew Vaughn, best known as a producer for Guy Ritchie's lad-centric crime movies.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
To those arriving at Layer Cake looking to see why its star, Daniel Craig, was chosen to succeed Pierce Brosnan as the new James Bond -- well, chances are you’ll be convinced that 007 will be A-OK. Layer Cake, a gritty crime film in the style of director Martin Scorsese, is the debut feature by Matthew Vaughn, the producer of Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Craig plays the middleman in an efficiently run drug ring based in London. A careful, unpretentious operator who plans on retiring in the near future, he’s ordered to find out what went wrong in a million-dollar Ecstasy deal and, in addition, locate the daughter of ruthless drug lord Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon). Our "hero," never named and identified only as XXXX in the end credits, really has his hands full -- especially when another girl, Tammy (Sienna Miller), shows up to complicate things further. The story unfolds in mostly seedy surroundings and features the lowlifes that typically populate such films. What makes Layer Cake different is its depiction of Craig's character -- an intelligent, ambitious, resourceful young man whose carefully laid game plan goes totally awry when unforeseen complications put him in danger. XXXX doesn’t really belong in the underworld; he could easily be in a big multinational corporation, effortlessly swindling millions from stockholders. But casting his lot with mobsters and street toughs has unintended consequences, and director Vaughn makes us privy to an almost absurd sequence of events that sends the protagonist's well-ordered life spiraling out of control. Craig's character is, at heart, pretty smarmy. But he’s also extremely bright, and the fun in Layer Cake comes from watching him try to extricate himself from a desperate if not hopeless situation. This is an exceptionally engrossing movie; count on bring riveted to your chair once it gets underway.
All Movie Guide
The recipe for Matthew Vaughn's Layer Cake is simple: start with a few generous spoonfuls of Guy Ritchie, add a pinch of Martin Scorsese, and sprinkle in a few plot points from Carlito's Way. The result is a pretty yummy confection, even if it doesn't revolutionize the dessert world. Having produced each of Ritchie's films, Vaughn has taken with him the intricate plotting, the unintelligible accents, and the surplus of characters, most of whom have cookie-cutter mobster nicknames. He's left behind Ritchie's fondness for absurdist comedy, as Layer Cake proceeds in a mostly straightforward manner, at least in terms of its set pieces. The narrative is another matter -- J.J. Connolly's script gives birth to a new subplot about every five pages, and it becomes nearly impossible to sort out who is with whom, and whether it's a double- or triple-cross they're perpetrating. This disorganization leaves certain characters out in the cold, such as Sienna Miller's promising femme fatale, who has no function. As with a Ritchie film, it may be wisest to treat Layer Cake largely as eye candy. Vaughn's camera glides through the action like a guided tour of Britain's drug underworld, narrated by the nameless protagonist (Daniel Craig) and seen through a crisp, nearly colorized filter. It's mostly free from the frenetic trickery of Ritchie's films, save for one virtuoso sequence in which Vaughn films a vicious beating from the perspective of the victim, the camera somersaulting with each blow, and Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" sputtering in and out of clarity on the soundtrack. Vaughn can marry insubstantial pop songs with hip iconography like the most successful of his predecessors. What Vaughn can't claim is a totally distinctive vision -- the kind that might prompt young filmmakers to imitate him, rather than them.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Color]
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; Two alternate endings; Director and writer commentary; Q&A with director and Daniel Craig; Behind-the-scenes featurette

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

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

Technical Credits
Matthew Vaughn Director,Producer
Tom Aitken Stunts
Adam Bohling Producer
Karen Sheriff Brown Makeup
Steve Carter Art Director
Stephanie Collie Costumes/Costume Designer
Matthew Collinge Sound/Sound Designer
Gary Connery Stunts
J.J. Connolly Screenwriter
Leo Davis Casting
Ben Davis Cinematographer
Mike Elliott Asst. Director
Ilan Eshkeri Score Composer
Bradley Farmer Stunts
Dean Forster Stunts
Lisa Gerrard Score Composer
Andy Godbold Stunts
Jon Harris Editor
Simon Hayes Sound Mixer
Maureen Hetherington Makeup
Rowley Irlam Stunts
Jina Jay Casting
Jonathan Davis Editor
Alain Lagger Production Manager
Stephen Marks Executive Producer
Claire McGrane Producer
James O'Dee Stunts
Emma Pike Production Manager
Kave Quinn Production Designer
David Reid Producer
Seon Rogers Stunts
Special Effects (GB) Ltd. Special Effects
Peter Wignall Camera Operator
Nick Wilkinson Stunts

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Layer Cake
1. Quit While You're Ahead [8:54]
2. Titles/Lunch With Jimmy [6:38]
3. The Duke [3:01]
4. Tammy [3:45]
5. Shanks Fills the Gap [7:36]
6. Kinky's Flat [3:16]
7. Tea With Morty [4:12]
8. You're Going to Need One of These [5:08]
9. Looking for the Duke [3:28]
10. Room Service [4:12]
11. Eddie Temple [8:51]
12. Jimmy's Price [5:44]
13. Dealing With Eddie [7:11]
14. "Let's Listen to This Shit" [5:09]
15. Dragon [4:25]
16. The New Plan [7:01]
17. Settling Accounts [2:54]
18. Just Desserts [9:50]
19. Credits [3:50]


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