I went into Layer Cake with no expectations. I didn't like the whole cake idea, it was okay to a certain extent I guess. I did however enjoy Lock Stock and Snatch. Layer Cake is a different kind of animal.
Whilst Lock Stock and Snatch were more comedy based, Layer Cake has this more serious approach, no names flashing on the screen, identifying any of the characters, so you have to pay extra special attention!
There are several flashback/sub plots which don't particularly help as they can confuse you if you're not paying attention. There were many characters introduced to you in a short space of time and then suddenly going off at a tangent involving some of the 'slightly minor lead' characters.
You can see the influences of other directors in Matthew Vaughn's end product. The direction style is good and the montage is solid.
Daniel Craig gives a good solid performance. His narrative does help place him well in the movie. His narrative in the beginning is definitely something that draws you in. The rest of the performances are pretty good. Tamer Hassan has a minor role. After seeing the major role he had in The Football Factory, he can act, he should have possibly had a larger character. His character does not shine across as that 'demented' as that in The Football Factory. Sienna Miller was underused also, which was a shame.
Although there are some problems with the story, Matthew Vaughn has made a respectable movie. This being his debut, he has nothing to be ashamed of. As long as he works on the clarity of the plot more, he will have no problems securing full audiences. Layer Cake gives a good reputation to British films instead of the some rubbish released over the last few years.
I enjoyed the ending, it was good, I'm not going to say anything about it!