Layer Cake (2005)

“Summer of Film #4 of 100”:
If I tell you that Layer Cake is a British film directed by the producer of Lock, Stock and Smoking Barell and Snatch (Matthew Vaughn) you are going to think you probably know what kind of film it is. If I tell you it’s about a drug dealer who tries to get out of the business when a series of strange characters and events pull him back in; you’re going to be really sure you know what kind of a film this is.

Well, you are wrong.

In appearance, Layer Cake is a Tarantino/Guy Ritchie kind of movie with the major difference being in the way the characters view violence. Most characters in this movie abhor violence, are haunted by their deeds and- lo and behold- feel remorse. It is refreshing! The film does have it’s share of violence, but it’s main character (Daniel Craig) hates violence and when circumstances drive him to it, he hates himself for it. This gives the movie a very unique quality usually absent from films of this kind.

In other respects, this film is very much in the Guy Ritchie mold- colorful characters with colorful accents (most British, and hence actually ‘colourful’) with colorful quirks and even more colorful lives. If you liked the pre-Swept Away Guy Ritchie movies; you will like this but be prepared to be surprised by its tone. If those were not your type of movie- or if you are unfamiliar with them- try this one out for size. Layer Cake will surprise you no matter what you expect.


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