Film Club – 28 October 2008: Layer Cake

Just in time to whet your appetite for A Quantum of Solace (released in the UK on 31st October) we are showing Layer Cake; one of Daniel Craig’s first leading roles. 

When the film was released in 2004, rumours were circulating that Pierce Brosnan was not going to be hired to play Bond for a fifth time; pushing 50, and never one to obsess over his physique, Brosnan was in danger of heading into late-Roger-Moore territory.  That led to the inevitable speculation over who would be next in the chair, with Clive Owen, Hugh Jackman and even Ewan McGregor among the bookie’s favourites. My money was on Clive Owen until I watched Daniel Craig in this.

It’s not like the similarities between the characters are immediately obvious.  Whereas the Bond films are eponymous, Craig’s character in Layer Cake is never referred to by name.  He plays a smart and resourceful criminal, but he’s no tough guy, spending most of the film trying desperately to stay one step ahead of the many different factions (big-time mobsters, low-life thugs and even Serbian war criminals) who are out to get him.

The longer you spend with him, however, the more you realise that he is one cool customer.  Hounded at every turn by people with more brawn but less brain, Craig’s character frequently finds himself having to talk his way out of life-or-death situations.  Phoned at home by a Serbian assassin, his quick-thinking invitation to breakfast sets up one of the best lines in the film.

Directed by Matthew Vaughan, Layer Cake is a stylish, pacy film with plenty of twists and some gruesome scenes (although most of the violence occurs off-screen).  However, the language has to be heard to be believed; the word ‘fuck’, for example, apparently occurs 201 times in the film’s 105 minutes: 1.91 FPM.

Despite that (and to be honest, after about 10 minutes you should be sufficiently immersed in the film that the language is part of the ambience; after all, these are not nice people) Layer Cake is cool, classy entertainment.  We’re getting things started at 6pm on Tuesday 28th October; if you want to come, just let me know.

Friday, October 17th, 2008 Film Club

1 Comment to Film Club – 28 October 2008: Layer Cake

  1. […] These guys started writing the film when they were 13, and somehow the authenticity of its origins shows through; to some extent in the plot, which is adolescent wish-fulfilment (in common with plenty of Hollywood’s output), but mainly in the interaction between the two central characters.

  2. Film Club - 18 November 2008: Superbad | The Beta Blog on November 5th, 2008

Leave a comment

Bookmark and Share