LAYER CAKE (2004)

A mechanic in the British drug trade finds himself caught in the middle of some dangerous circumstances in this crime thriller. XXXX (Daniel Craig) is a nameless go-between in the British mob who buys drugs from underground wholesalers and them sells them to street dealers, keeping the system flowing and making a tidy profit in the process. XXXX is looking forward to getting out of the game, and has displayed both smarts and caution in how he’s handled his business, but before his overseer Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) will let him go, he has a couple of favors that need to be done. Layer Cake is the latest in the recent cluster of British gangster/caper films begun by Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Matthew Vaughn, the director and co-producer of Layer Cake, held the producing credit for Lock and Ritchie’s follow-up, Snatch. As such, it’s no surprise that Layer Cake borrows aspects of the “feel” of those films. Layer Cake a lot of fun – if you like this sort of movie. It’s a little bleak, a little twisted, a little gory, and a lot funny. Guy Ritchie was in place to direct but other commitments meant he had to drop out. The warehouse where XXXX meets Eddie Temple was mostly empty, and most of the crates seen in it were added digitally. J.J. Connolly, the author of the Layer Cake novel, wanted to play Lucky in the film. In the opening montage XXXX walks through a pharmacy, in which he imagines all the products are drugs like cocaine and ecstasy, branded with labels such as “FCUK reality”. The founder of French Connection (FCUK), Stephen Marks, was the Executive Producer of the film. The actor who plays “The Duke” is Jamie Foreman, son of notorious London gang enforcer Freddie Foreman.

 

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