October 16, 2004

Layer Cake

Follow-up to A Bad Day from Esprit de l'escalier

My housemates managed to convince me to make the journey to Birmingham so we went, and turned my bad day into an alright evening. I bought some clothes, we ate in McDonalds (sorry), and we went to see Layer Cake (or should that be L4y3r C4k3? Or something?). I'd heard mixed reviews of it and wasn't too eager to see it, but 'twas the only thing on, so why not.

Before I launch into my review, I'll sum up what the film's about, for those of you not in the know: it's a Brit Gangster flick. Nuff said, really. It's a bit knob, on the whole – though not as knob as Croupier, of which it reminded me a lot. It had the same trying-to-be-gritty intentions, pulled the same 'stylish' camera effects out of the film industry's box of cliches, and had similar lead characters: the rugged, posh, cool-when-he's-not-talking, wooden-when-he-is hard man. The plot may appear quite complicated but when you realise it is essentially a combination of the plots of Lock, Stock…, Snatch and the Long Good Friday, but with drugs taking the place of guns/boxing/micks, it makes perfect sense. It's not as funny as Lock, Stock… (I'm not sure how funny it was wanting to be) and has only a handful of genuinely cool lines/events. I wouldn't recommend this – the only reason to see it I can give is if you want to see an uncanny young Willem Defoe lookalike with a Cockney accent. There are few well-known actors in it: only Dexter Fletcher (he of Lock, Stock… and Press Gang (remember that, kids?!) fame) and Michael Gambon, sporting a rather unsettling David Dickinson-style tan.

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