Thursday, May 25, 2006

Layer Cake

Admittedly I rented this movie because I thought it was a filmed version of The Betty Crocker Cookbook. Boy, was I surprised. It's another British crime movie with a convoluted plot, and I enjoyed it even more than I would have something based on Betty Crocker. It's a bit more serious than Lock, Stock and Two Loaded Barrels, and it's not as intent on being "stylish" (though it has plenty of style. Daniel Craig plays a nameless businessman who happens to be a middleman in the quite lucrative business of selling cocaine. He thinks he has everything figured out, even down to the "one big deal and I'm out of here" plan.

As soon as you hear that, as you do very early on, you pretty much know that bad things are going to happen, and they do. Craig is asked to look for a powerful man's missing daughter and to sort out a drug deal gone bad. These things are not in his line, but he's in no position to turn down the jobs. Before long, things begin to spin out of control. Craig's smart, but that doesn't always matter when you're dealing with people who'll kill you as a matter of course.

My main problem with the movie is the relationship between Craig and Sienna Miller, who, despite the nice photo you see here, is dreadfully under-used. The relationship between her and Craig is a key to the ending, but it's never developed. There's so much else going on that there just isn't time. While the ending came as a surprise to me, I thought it was a little bit of a cheat, though some sketchy attempt had at least been made to set it up.

I never did figure out the title, either. There's an unsatisfactory (to me) explanation near the end of the movie, but I still think it's a bad title for this kind of movie.

But never mind. The movie's still a lot of fun. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

I watched LAYER CAKE a few weeks ago and though I enjoyed it, I had much the same reaction. She's hooking up with him why? I see on IMDB that the movie was based on a novel and that the same person wrote the book and the screenplay. Also, under "Trivia," they note that the first draft of the screenplay was 408 pages long though the novel only contained 344 pages.

Unknown said...

A 408 page screenplay? It's the usual one about 1/4 that length? No wonder that relationship was a little sketchy. They must have cut most of it out.