Layer Cake

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This film started off well but, once the layers began piling up, it quickly became a convoluted and contrived mess.

The plot here is obviously so thin that the non-linearity of it is forced rather than organic. It is not particularly difficult to follow so much as needlessly obtuse. The twists are neither surprising nor exciting, but rather inspire a serious amount of eye-rolling. Plot holes are prevalent here, and there is absolutely no attempt to fill them in.

The characters are cardboard cutouts of established archetypes. One of my biggest issues with the entire film is that XXXX (Daniel Craig) is supposedly very intelligent, but we are never shown this. The mantra is repeated several times throughout, but the viewer never sees his intellectual prowess on display. In an attempt to confound the audience and inspire gasps of realization, all of XXXX’s plans are hidden until the penultimate moment when everything pays off. The end result is, in reality, complete inconceivability. Another point of contention is the fact that Tammy (Sienna Miller) is nothing more than a sex icon with few morals and zero personality or purpose.

The performances are adequate throughout, except for George Harris (Morty). Whether or not the script is to blame is up to speculation. The cinematography is captivating and, honestly, probably the best part of the whole film. I also found the soundtrack to be hit or miss. Some of the tracks were great while others were horribly strange choices.

Overall, I found this to be a mediocre film. The humor was not funny enough to consider it a comedy, and yet it subverted any attempt at a serious tone. In the end, Layer Cake was appealing to the eyes but devoid of any meaningful flavor.

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