Layer Cake: Daniel Smith
August 23, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Layer Cake

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
110 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/13/05
performer
Daniel Craig, Colm Meaney, Kenneth Cranham, Michael Gambon, Sienna Miller
director
Matthew Vaughn
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
J.J. Connolly
genre
Action Adventure, Mystery and Thriller

Those who know first-time director Matthew Vaughn’s résumé — he produced Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch — might expect his own gangster entry to be full-tilt wacky. Instead, as the unnamed coke-dealing protagonist, Craig (Enduring Love), emphasizes in voice-over, this is an underworld where low-profile discretion is everything and flamboyance is deadly. It’s smooth operators like Craig and his capped volcano of a middleman, Harris (Raiders of the Lost Ark‘s Katanga), who give Layer Cake its richness. EXTRAS The director’s commentary with writer J.J. Connolly and a Q&A with Vaughn and Craig explain, among other things, how a little-indie-that-could managed to nab a Stones tune for its soundtrack and sweet-talk fashion label FCUK into lending its name for, incredibly, mock narcotics packaging. Meanwhile, you can practically picture Vaughn rolling his eyes as he notes in the deleted-scenes section, ”This is the wonderful ending that we were forced to film by Sony.” Luckily, he prevailed: It’s an egregious wimp-out that would have negated the story’s deglamorizing parting shot.

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