What You Should Be Watching Tonight – Or Any Night: “Layer Cake”

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 Ritchie in producing a series of highly entertaining and successful films like “Snatch” and “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 around which the film’s fundamental story-arc is constructed), also induces a surreal sense of dislocation – Actually, intoxication, would be the most apt descriptive term. Indeed, you’d have to own a bizarre type of brain to watch “Layer Cake” and end up in the same “state” where you began (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 WORK and make it happen. NOW.


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