L4YER CAKE (2004)
Typically smart English gangster movie.
Seen ’em once, seen ’em all; but it never gets boring, and Matthew Vaughn seems to have taken a leaf out of Guy Ritchie’s playbook in delivering a complex, witty and by turns intelligent film.
What I liked best
Daniel Craig takes the lead role in the movie that led him to Bond fame. Several notable scenes and vignettes serve to underscore this winning choice: as the dapper, genteel accountant who prefers to outsmart rather than outgun his enemies, Craig handles the steady evolution to gang lead with a cool panache that is only reserved for the English.
What I did not like
Sienna Miller, who seems rather out of place in the whole film as a tacked-on love/sex interest for Craig’s character. She’s hot, but it doesn’t stop her from being a red herring.
What I felt genuinely happy about
English gangsters in London make up a sub-genre that is a guilty pleasure for me; unlike the brash braggadocio of their American counterparts, these tend to make for more enjoyable watching.