A successful cocaine dealer, who has earned a respected place among England's Mafia elite, plans an early retirement from the business. However, big boss Jimmy Price hands down a tough assignment: find Charlotte Ryder, the missing rich princess daughter of Jimmy's old pal Edward, a powerful construction business player and gossip papers socialite. Complicating matters are two million pounds' worth of Grade A ecstasy, a brutal Serbian gang and a whole series of double crossings. The title "LAYER CAKE" refers to the layers or levels anyone in business goes through in rising to the top. What is revealed is a modern underworld where the rules have changed. There are no 'codes', or 'families' and respect lasts as long as a line. Not knowing who he can trust, he has to use all his 'savvy', 'telling' and skills which make him one of the best, to escape his own. The ultimate last job, a love interest called Tammy, and an international drug ring threaten to draw him back into the 'cake mix'. ... Written by
The trailers to Layer Cake left me with mixed feelings. Usually when a trailer needs to draw reference to 'one's we made earlier' (in this case Lock, Stock, and Snatch) when the writer or director of said films has nothing to do with the project, the end result is a poor copycat. After watching the film, I am more than impressed!
Layer Cake introduces us (once more) to the world of the cockney gangsters, and the dealing of drugs. The medication of choice this time is Ecstacy, and the set up involves an up-and-coming name in the dealing trade being thrown a job by one of the big names. Sent to find a missing girl, and also buy and sell on a large shipment, it all seems like easy work. However, as he soon finds, things are not always as they seem, and before long his life is at risk when the deal begins to go sour.
For the first 20 minutes of the film I couldn't decide whether it was going to be a Lock, Stock, or Honest (the dreadful All Saints film). The film uses the obligatory 'catchy' tunes from the past 2 decades, and uses the same type of framing of scenes as the genre. For the first 20 minutes, whilst we were introduced rapidly to the characters in the tale, it was hard to discern where the plot was going, and even harder to care much about the players. By the half way point I was engrossed! The plot twists and turns at various points throughout, and you do begin to care about the lead character and the associates around him.
The film oozes cockney cool, and although not quite on par with the best of the genre, it is still a worthy, and very engrossing, offering from director Matthew Vaughn. Stylishly shot, with a great soundtrack, this is one of those films that blokes will walk out of very pleased, but their partners may not feel the same way. Whilst not really violent or sexist in nature, this is a lads film through and through, and it is one cake that I want another slice of.
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