An unnamed drug-dealer (Daniel Craig) has always had his priorities straight: he wants to quit while he\'s ahead. But before he can enjoy the fortune he has made from selling ecstasy and cocaine, he has to oblige his boss Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) for two last requests. The junkie-daughter of crime lord Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon) has gone missing and Price wants the dealer to find her. Also, he needs to get a sale for one million ecstasy tablets, which loud-mouth crook The Duke (Jamie Foreman) has got his hands on. The dealer is on the case, but with a Serbian hit-man and a bunch of unpredictable tough guys, things are never are straightforward as expected.

Winds up being a more a cheap sponge from Coles than a rich Sacher Torte from David Jones.

With the release of Layer Cake, producer Matthew Vaughn\'s debut feature as a director, the lull in British gangster movies is over. It stars Daniel Craig (Enduring Love, Tomb Raider), an adaptation of J.J. Connolly\'s 2003 novel, which he wrote for the screen himself.

Layer Cake
is a \'one last score\' movie and has more twists and turns in it than a road map. Craig plays an unnamed crim, ?XXXX?, our narrator and lead protagonist. After making a fortune as a drug dealer he wants to leave \'the life\'. As fate, and the genre - would have it, XXXX is called upon to do one last job by the local \'Mr. Big\', Jimmy Price, played by UK screen veteran Kenneth Cranham. While tracking down a missing person XXXX takes on one last drug score, which it turns out has been stolen from some very irate Serbian gangsters\'.

Layer Cake begins with a sprawling, flashy set up recalling Scorsese\'s brilliant organised-crime movie Goodfellas (1990). It is an effective start, creating intrigue and anticipation, you can\'t wait for the film and the characters to settle and hit a rhythm. Only they never do. The entire film feels like a set up. Information is endlessly added to the story and as a result Layer Cake stops being engrossing and starts being overwhelming. Which is unforgivable really - drug movies (Drugstore Cowboy, Another Day In Paradise, aforementioned Goodfellas) usually offer such great a ride in cinema, as do gangster films. This is one convoluted, overly dense novel to screen adaptation.

Perhaps the problem lay in the fact that J.J. Connolly adapted his own book to the screen, relinquishing detail wasn\'t his strong point for this screenplay. And that Vaughn\'s background is ironically enough, as Guy Ritchie\'s producer. The disposable, cheap violence in Layer Cake in particular recalls Ritchie\'s ultra-violent slapstick style. Unfortunately, after its promising start, Layer Cake winds up being a more a cheap sponge from Coles than a rich Sacher Torte from David Jones.