"The Wages of Sin Is Death"
What You Need To Know:
LAYER CAKE is a brutal gangster movie. Though cleverly plotted, acted, directed, and written, the best that can be said for it is that it clearly shows at the end that the wages of sin is death. Just when the protagonist thinks he’s solved his problems, another problem arises, leading to more death around the bend.
(RoRo, Acap, B, Ho, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, A, DDD, MMM) Strong dog-eat-dog Romantic worldview wherein society is a corrupting influence and that implicitly attacks capitalism, with an implied moral premise that the wages of sin is death, and homosexual content where flashback talks about one dead gangster fooling around with other men; at least 192 mostly strong obscenities and one strong profanity; extreme violence includes people shot to death point black, assassinations and attempted assassinations, man’s head placed in freezer and small cooler, man viciously beats another man and pours scalding tea on his head; depicted fornication and talk about homosexuality; upper female nudity and upper male nudity in at least three scenes; alcohol use; smoking and extreme illegal drug use and illegal drug sales, including one implied drug overdose; and, stealing, gangsterism, betrayal, deceit, corruption, uncontrolled anger, etc.
LAYER CAKE is a British gangster movie about a nameless, well-dressed drug dealer who fancies himself as a consummate professional. Unlike others his trade, he treats selling cocaine and ecstasy like a businessman, while making sure he doesn’t get too greedy and flies under the radar. Having made the decision to retire, he is now ready to do so and live a simple, quiet life with the money has amassed.
Before this can happen, the crime boss with whom he works asks two favors from him. First, he must negotiate the sale of a huge shipment of ecstasy with The Duke, a loose cannon petty crook. Second, he must track down the missing drug addicted daughter of an even more powerful criminal named Eddie Temple.
Neither of these jobs turns out to be simple. Betrayal, murder and hidden alliances become the order of the day, and the nameless drug dealer discovers there’s more happening than he imagined. He also finds out that getting out of the business won’t be as easy as getting into it. Just when he thinks he’s solved his problems, another problem arises, with more death around the bend.
LAYER CAKE is a brutal gangster movie. Though cleverly plotted, acted and directed, the best that can be said for it is that it clearly shows at the end that the wages of sin is death. Despite the constant foul language, it is a more literary example of the genre than most other movies of its kind. This is probably because the writer who wrote the book also wrote the screenplay. The title refers to the layers of society that gangsters, and everyone, must navigate in order to get ahead. Hence, the movie’s worldview seems to be a Romantic one wherein the structure of society has a corrupting influence.