Layer Cake (film)
|Directed by||Matthew Vaughn|
|Produced by||Matthew Vaughn
|Screenplay by||J. J. Connolly|
|Based on||Layer Cake
by J. J. Connolly
|Music by||Lisa Gerrard
|Editing by||Jon Harris|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures (UK)
Sony Pictures Classics (US)
|Running time||105 minutes|
|Box office||$11,850,214 (worldwide)|
Layer Cake (stylized as L4YER CAKƐ on some promotional posters and DVD artwork) is a 2004 British crime thriller produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn, in his directorial debut. It is based on the novel Layer Cake by J. J. Connolly.
The title refers to the social strata, especially in the British criminal underworld, as well as the numerous plot layers in the film. The film has achieved cult status.
The unnamed chief protagonist (Daniel Craig), identified in the closing credits and closed captioning only as XXXX, has established a successful business in London buying, cutting, and selling cocaine. Disliking guns, and considering himself a businessman, he leaves the more violent aspects of the business to his contact Gene (Colm Meaney). Gene is assisted by fellow gangster Morty (George Harris), who had previously spent ten years in prison. Having made his fortune, he plans to retire from the business for good.
His plans go awry when his powerful supplier Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) sends him to track down Charlie, the teenage daughter of Price's associate, Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon), who has fled a rehabilitation centre with her drug-addicted boyfriend. To help track her down XXXX enlists the help of con men Cody (Dexter Fletcher) and Tiptoes (Steve John Shepherd).
At the same time, Price instructs XXXX to organize the purchase and distribution of one million ecstasy tablets from a brash, low-level gangster named The Duke (Jamie Foreman). Unbeknownst to XXXX, the pills have been stolen from a gang of Serbian war criminals in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, XXXX encounters The Duke's idiotic nephew, Sidney (Ben Whishaw) at a bar, and becomes attracted to Sidney's bored girlfriend Tammy (Sienna Miller). XXXX tries to broker the sale of the ecstasy to Liverpudlian gangsters Trevor (Louis Emerick) and Shanks (Stephen Walters), but they refuse, informing him of the drug's purloined nature and of the fact that the Serbians have sent a ruthless hitman, Dragan (Dragan Mićanović), to find the pills and kill those responsible for their theft. Because The Duke erroneously referenced XXXX's name to the Serbians beforehand, he too is now in danger. Members of The Duke's gang soon begin turning up dead and The Duke himself goes missing.
XXXX arranges a tryst with Tammy but before it can be consummated he is kidnapped by henchmen of Eddie Temple. Temple informs him that Jimmy had lost millions of pounds in a failed investment in Africa and is now hoping to sell the pills to recoup his losses. He demands instead that XXXX sell the pills to him, and plays him a tape indicating that Jimmy has been a long term informant for Scotland Yard and intends to betray XXXX to the police as soon as the deal is done. XXXX shoots and kills Jimmy but foolishly does so with a gun that Gene had used to commit a prior murder. XXXX then discovers that his accountant, whom Jimmy referred to him, has embezzled his money and disappeared. Gene and Morty, after being given evidence of Jimmy's snitching, recognize XXXX as the new boss and show him the corpse of The Duke, whom Gene had killed along with Duke's girlfriend, Slasher (Sally Hawkins), when the latter threatened to alert the police about the pills.
XXXX delivers the severed head of The Duke to Dragan as a peace offering. To recoup something from the fiasco, XXXX arranges a con in which the police appear to raid The Duke's hideout and confiscate the drugs, which satisfies Dragan. In reality, the police are Cody and Tiptoes, who return the drugs to XXXX. However, when he attempts to sell them to Eddie Temple, Temple steals the drugs from them at gunpoint and gives XXXX a "welcome to the layer cake" in the form of a membership to the Stoke Park Country Club of which both he and Jimmy were members. However, suspecting betrayal, XXXX has arranged for Trevor and Shanks to steal the drugs from Temple's men. The final scene has the gang assembled for lunch at the impressive Stoke Park Club, proclaiming XXXX their new boss. However, he demurs, stating his intention to stick to his planned retirement. Leaving the club with Tammy he addresses the audience about his own caution and cleverness before being shot without warning by Sidney. As the film fades out, XXXX is seen bleeding on the iconic Stoke Park Mansion steps, his fate left uncertain.
- Daniel Craig as XXXX
- Colm Meaney as Gene
- Kenneth Cranham as Jimmy Price
- George Harris as Morty
- Jamie Foreman as The Duke
- Sienna Miller as Tammy
- Michael Gambon as Eddie Temple
- Marcel Iureş as Slavo
- Tom Hardy as Clarkie
- Tamer Hassan as Terry
- Ben Whishaw as Sidney
- Burn Gorman as Gazza
- Sally Hawkins as Slasher
- Dexter Fletcher as Cody
- Steve John Shepherd as Tiptoes
- Louis Emerick as Trevor
- Stephen Walters as Shanks
- Paul Orchard as Lucky
- Dragan Mićanović as Dragan
- Nick Thomas-Webster as Dragan's henchman
- Nathalie Lunghi as Charlie
- Jason Flemyng as Crazy Larry
The soundtrack from Layer Cake is composed of 14 tracks.
- "Hayling" - FC Kahuna
- "Opening" - Ilan Eshkeri and Steve McLaughlin
- "She Sells Sanctuary" - The Cult
- "Can't Get Blue Monday Out of My Head" (Original Radio Edit) - Kylie Minogue
- "You Got the Love" (Original bootleg radio mix) - The Source feat. Candi Staton
- "Drive to the Boatyard" - Ilan Eshkeri
- "Junky Fight" - Lisa Gerrard
- "Making Plans for Nigel" - XTC
- "Ordinary World" - Duran Duran
- "Ruthless Gravity" - Craig Armstrong
- "Four to the Floor" (Soulsavers Mix) - Starsailor
- "Drive To The Warehouse" - Ilan Eshkeri and Lisa Gerrard
- "Aria" (Layer Cake Speech) - Lisa Gerrard with Michael Gambon
- "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - Joe Cocker
Box office performance 
|Film||Release date||Box office revenue||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
|Worldwide||United States||United States||International||Worldwide||All time United States||All time worldwide|
|Layer Cake||May 2005||May 2005||$2,339,957||$9,510,257||$11,850,214||#5,288||Unknown||$6,500,000|||
Critical reception 
|Film||Rotten Tomatoes||Metacritic||Entertainment Weekly|
|Layer Cake||81% (133 reviews)||73/100 (30 reviews)||A|
- 'Stoke Park film history' Retrieved 21/03/2013
- "Layer Cake (2005)". the-numbers. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "Layer Cake (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "Layer Cake". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "Layer Cake". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "Layer Cake". Entertainment Weekly. 2005-05-11. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "Layer Cake". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- "Layer Cake". Metacritic. 2005-05-13. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (2008-06-30). "Daniel Craig's Role As James Bond Allowed Him To Become A 'Fool' - Movie News Story | MTV Movie News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Layer Cake|
- Layer Cake at the Internet Movie Database
- Layer Cake at Rotten Tomatoes
- Layer Cake at AllRovi
- Layer Cake at Box Office Mojo
- BBC interview with Matthew Vaughn