Saturday, August 7, 2010

Layer Cake (2004)

"Life is so fucking good I can taste it in my spit."

Daniel Craig plays a drug dealer who is never named but referred to in the credits as, "XXXX". The plot here is more complicated than it should be making it difficult to explain it in a paragraph as I usually try to do. 'XXXX' isn't the typical drug dealer as he has worked hard to stay out of all the traps that usually claim anyone less clever in a similar occupation. XXXX has wracked up a great deal of money and intends to leave this life of drugs and crime behind when he is suckered back into one more job by major player, Jimmy. Things go all kinds of haywire and XXXX ends up in a kidnapping plot, chased by Serbian Gangsters who are after stolen ecstasy pills that XXXX has been hired to sell for another drug dealer referred to as 'The Duke'.

The movie is often as confusing as that description sounds, so be careful if you are frustrated easily. I did have fun with it mostly because Daniel Craig makes such a likable guy out of his otherwise unlikeable character. Directed by Matthew Vaughn ("Kick Ass") and written by J.J. Connolly, based on his own novel, "Layer Cake" is at its core a sort-of crime thriller. Besides the confusing story, one of the only other drawbacks I could think of was the overwhelming 'English-ness' of it all. With so many thick, cockney accents I could hardly understand a word, wishing I had instead watched it with subtitles. If you've ever seen an episode of "The Osbournes" then you know what every character in this movie sounds like. Also, the plot sounds a lot more exciting that it was. The intense moments were scattered to thinly for me to really be drawn in and kept there until the end. Part of the problem I suppose, is that being such a fan of Daniel Craig's James Bond in "Casino Royal" I was always waiting for him to pull out a gun and just be a bad ass, but alas, that never really happens. A good movie but one that never quite lives up to its hype. 3/5 -andy

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