Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Layer Cake

No, not another recipe: our movie review of the week, Layer Cake (2004). This movie had a couple of attractions going in. First, it gives a good look at the new Bond, Daniel Craig. Second, it is a Matthew Vaughn movie, which I confess, I tend to like. (No, I have not seen Swept Away. I consider Breathless Mahoney the exception that proves the Madonna rule. I would never have watched Evita without the inclusion of Antonio Banderas, and yes, I fell asleep in Evita. Satisfied? No emails)

I knew it was going to be full of violence and extra full of cussing. I was right. Couple of cringe worthy scenes that were not graphic but evocative. I think the f bomb was there every third word or so. Kind of like a Tarantino flick, or a Sam Jackson movie, or a Tarantino movie starring Sam Jackson. I'm sure there is a cussing trifecta out there somewhere in movie land, but other than a script that was nothing but f bombs I am hard pressed to conceive of how they would pack it in.

The premise: Daniel Craig plays a drug dealer middle man. He is a business man and cocaine is his product. He's made a pile of green, wants to retire and gets roped into one last deal where everything goes horribly wrong.

Moral of the story: do business with drug dealers and criminals and bad things happen, no matter how cool you are. Daniel Craig is cool too. He is not very good looking, but he gives off the aura of coolness that James Bond is supposed to. I am less apprehensive about the new Bond than I was before.

In the course of the movie, Craig (whose character is nameless) is told to find the daughter of a the big time crime boss. He sets two of his associates on the job a couple of guys named Cody and Tiptoes. These guys stole the screen everytime they appeared. They didn't fit the movie stereotype "C" level badguys at all. They were not bumbling, funny in a sidekickish way, thuggish, junkie, slavish, or achille's heels. They were likeable guys but not fools. They were small fish in a pond full of sharks and were not looking to so anything but skirt by.

The romance was atypical too. The woman didn't play a big role, she didn't have an agenda, she doesn't sell out the main character. She just was. The director did not throw in a sex scene when there usually would be one, which was fine. We got the point, that they are hooked into each other.

All in all I liked it. A bad Dumbledore, an amoral Transporter Chief O'Brien, a satisfying end.

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