I recently re-watched “Layer Cake” – probably one of most intelligently scripted gangster flicks of the past twenty years – and certainly among the best ever to hail from from the UK. This was a directorial debut for Matthew Vaughn (best known for his collaboration with director Guy RitchieÂ in producingÂ a series of highly entertaining and successful films likeÂ “Snatch” andÂ “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) The movie was also virtually a debut for (pre-Bond) Daniel Craig (not to mention one of his most subtle and sharply acted performances to date) and additionally contains some uniquely riveting scenes delivered by a stunning Sienna Miller whose character could easily seduce someone (straight or gay) out of a coma. “Layer Cake” manages to make powerful contributions to the gangster genre, the drug genre, the noir genre, action films of all varieties and to post-modern British cinema generally – while simultaneously transcending specific definition. The plot vividly challenges your mind with its cascadingly complex twists yet (much like the narcotics aroundÂ which the film’sÂ fundamental story-arc is constructed), also induces a surreal sense of dislocation – Actually, intoxication, would be the most apt descriptive term.Â Indeed, you’d have to own a bizarre typeÂ of brain to watch “Layer Cake” and end up in the sameÂ “state” where you beganÂ (and I don’t mean Delaware…)
If you haven’t seen it (or even if it has just been a while – say a few weeks…), you owe it to yourself. I don’t care how late it might be. Grab that remote, get yourself a beer, FORGET ABOUT WORKÂ and make it happen. NOW.