As deeply cool and urbane as its unnamed hero, LAYER CAKE follows
the precise, articulate XXXX (Daniel Craig) as he maneuvers through
what he intends to be his last business deal in modern-day London.
His business? Drugs. On the cusp of turning 30, XXXX has amassed a
personal fortune, deftly avoiding the violence and ugliness so many
others in his trade fall prey to by following a strict personal
code defined by discretion and clean detachment from the products
he sells. Just as XXXX is poised to cash in and get out, Jimmy
Price (Kenneth Cranham), the top layer of this particular
underworld cake, hands down two tasks: find Eddie Temple's (Michael
Gambon) drug-addicted daughter, and unload a mass of ecstasy stolen
in Amsterdam by the sloppy, loud Duke (Jamie Foreman), who is
exactly the type of wannabe gangster that XXXX has spent his career
avoiding. Further complicating matters is Tammy (Sienna Miller), a
sexy young blond who XXXX meets in a club and can't get off his
First-time director Michael Vaughn (producer on SNATCH and
LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS) brings a practiced eye to the
film, creating a slick, highly entertaining visual style which
perfectly complements the twisting storyline. The London drug world
comes to vibrant life in screenwriter J.J. Connolly's adaptation of
his first novel, which retains its keen ear for slang and its eye
for detail, giving LAYER CAKE a thrilling ring of authenticity. In
the role of XXXX, Daniel Craig has a commanding presence,
portraying a man who is so good at his job that he may never be
permitted to leave it, regardless of how smart he is or how well
he's planned. Like the best in the crime-thriller genre, LAYER CAKE
is unpredictable, unsettling, and unforgettable.
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