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Layer Cake

UK 2004
produced by
Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn for Marv Films/Paramount
directed by Matthew Vaughn
starring Daniel Craig, Colm Meany, George Harris, Kenneth Cranham, Michael Gambon, Jamie Foreman, Dragan Micanovic, Ben Wishaw, Sienna Miller, Tom Hardy, Sally Hawkins, Burn Gorman, Tamer Hassan, Michael Iures, Francis Magee, Dimitri Andreas, Garry Tubbs, Nathalie Lunghi, Marvin Benoit, Rab Affleck, Dexter Fletcher, Steve John Shepherd, Paul Orchard
screenplay by J.J.Connolly, based on his novel

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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X (Daniel Craig) is doing well in the cocaine business, seeing himself less as a gangster & mroe as a slick businessman, routinely shying away from weapons, loudmouthed wannabe-gangstas, or anyone who takes the stuff he is selling ...

But his lifestyle is threatened when his boss, Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) asks him to find the daughter of his boss, Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon) & make a deal with Duke (Jamie Foreman) exactly the kind of loud-mouthed gangsta-wannabe X tries desperately to avoid ... & how right he was, because even though Duke has one million ecstasy pills in his possession, he has stolen them from ruthless Serbian drugdealer Dragan (Dragan Micanovic), who doesn't mind in the slightest using extreme violence, & soon thinks that X is Duke's partner.

To make matters worse, Eddie Temple doesn't want his daughter to be found by X and associates because Jimmy is really planning to take her hostage - which no dad would be too fond of -, &, as he tells X, Jimmy is a police informer, plus he wants X to sell him the millon pills of E ... for which X not only has another buyer, but Dragan also wants them back ... & he is most persistent.

& as if that wasn't enough, X's right-hand man Morty (Geroge Harris) takes a leave, & Duke (& the pills with him) vanishes without a trace.

The only thing X can do right away is to kill Jimmy (not that he likes doing it), & with a gun that was given to him by Gene (Colm Meany), Jimmy's own right-hand man too. Then he pickes up the trail of the E by having Duke's naive not-even-wannabe-gangsta Sidney (Ben Whishaw) shadowed ... & is almost kileld by Gene, who wants to avenge his boss, & is only stopped when he hears the evidence that Jimmy indeed was an informer ...

X finds out too, that Gene has indeed killed Duke, & keeps the corpse in his own fridge ... which gives him an idea ...

The next day, X is buying the pills from Sidney when the police wraids the place, & X, Sidney & his gang make a narrow escape ... but the police was just a set-up X needed for Dragan, who had him watched all of the time, while X needed a proper excuse why he didn't ahve the pills (& what could be better than a police raid), but at least he offers him Duke's head (in a cool-bag), which satuisfies the violent Serb.

... then X sells the E to Eddie ... & ends up with nothing, because Eddie takes the stuff as recompensation for X and company looking for his daughter (even if they did it with the best of moties) ... but rather more surprisingly, X falls up the ladder & becomes Jimmy Price's successor ... but he prefers  to leave his life of crime altogether before geting killed himself, & spend the rest of his days with Tammy (Sienna Miller), a girl he stole from Sidney ...

But only moments after he has announced his retirement, X is gunned down by none other than Sidney, the most harmless cahracter of the movie ...


One of these drugrunning stories that has so many twists & turns that it is extremely hard to follow (& much harder to recount) ... but in the case of  Layer Cake, that actually works for the movie, which is essentially about this guy who lives a well-ordered life (of crime) that is all of a sudden thrown off-track by one little incident (which is caused exactly by his well-ordered life of cirme) & that drags him into a whirlpool of death & violence, which he so carefully tried to avoid. & somehow, even the very cold & overly stylish direction of the movie works to great effect.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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