“Layer Cake” marked Matthew Vaughn’s directorial debut, and it boasts much of the same visual style and irreverent humor that the filmmaker would later bring to movies like “Stardust,” “Kick-Ass,” and “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Directing from a screenplay written by J.J. Connolly, Vaughn imbues the film with an anxious, sleek energy as it races through its various twists and turns — of which there are many.
In addition to Vaughn’s work as its director, the film also boasts an impressive ensemble cast for itself, with notable actors like Sienna Miller, Tom Hardy, Sally Hawkins, Michael Gambon, George Harris, Burn Gorman, and Jamie Foreman all showing up in different supporting roles. It’s Daniel Craig who ultimately makes the biggest impression in “Layer Cake” though. As its unnamed protagonist, Craig brings the same levels of charm and confidence to “Layer Cake” as he has in all of his outings as James Bond. The film helped establish Craig as a breakout star in the early 2000s, and it’s even said (via MTV) that it was his performance in “Layer Cake” that ultimately secured him the role of James Bond in 2006’s “Casino Royale.”
All of which is to say that “Layer Cake” stands tall as one of Daniel Craig’s best non-Bond films to date and is just as inventive, unpredictable, and fun as it was when it first hit theaters back in 2004.