Return of the serious Brit crime flick
A film about cocaine, directed by Claudia Schiffer’s husband, starring Jude Law’s current belle? On paper, this has “Avoid” written all over it. Instead, it’s a straight-up-gangster flick (adapted from JJ Connolly’s superb novel) that doesn’t hit a bum note throughout. Daniel Craig plays a rich coke dealer desperate to retire but tangled ever tighter in a plot involving Scouse and Irish mobsters, a heist on a Dutch Ecstasy factory, a rampaging Serbian hitman and a kingpin (Michael Gambon) tracking down his missing daughter (Sienna Miller). Anyone doubting Lock, Stock… producer Matthew Vaughn was up to the director’s job will be amazed. He’s easily Guy Ritchie’s equal, confidently wielding pace, humour, setting, photography and some very flashy editing to create a modern thriller that’s 100 per cent free from cliche, irony and lazy postmodern bullshit. So many recent gangster films have just fiddled about with ’60s iconography. Layer Cake creates its own?with a truly brutal ending.