As deeply cool and urbane as its unnamed hero, LAYER CAKE follows the precise, articulate XXXX (Daniel Craig) as he maneuvers through what he intends to be his last business deal in modern-day London. His business? Drugs. On the cusp of turning 30, XXXX has amassed a personal fortune, deftly avoiding the violence and ugliness so many others in his trade fall prey to by following a strict personal code defined by discretion and clean detachment from the products he sells. Just as XXXX is poised to cash in and get out, Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham), the top layer of this particular underworld cake, hands down two tasks: find Eddie Temple's (Michael Gambon) drug-addicted daughter, and unload a mass of ecstasy stolen in Amsterdam by the sloppy, loud Duke (Jamie Foreman), who is exactly the type of wannabe gangster that XXXX has spent his career avoiding. Further complicating matters is Tammy (Sienna Miller), a sexy young blond who XXXX meets in a club and can't get off his mind.
First-time director Michael Vaughn (producer on SNATCH and LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS) brings a practiced eye to the film, creating a slick, highly entertaining visual style which perfectly complements the twisting storyline. The London drug world comes to vibrant life in screenwriter J.J. Connolly's adaptation of his first novel, which retains its keen ear for slang and its eye for detail, giving LAYER CAKE a thrilling ring of authenticity. In the role of XXXX, Daniel Craig has a commanding presence, portraying a man who is so good at his job that he may never be permitted to leave it, regardless of how smart he is or how well he's planned. Like the best in the crime-thriller genre, LAYER CAKE is unpredictable, unsettling, and unforgettable.
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