Sometimes you watch a movie or a TV show because you are interested in the premise or you have heard it’s really good. Other times it’s because it stars an actor you love or is directed by one of your favorites. I mean, if Wes Anderson or the Coen Brothers have a new movie out, I’m almost definitely going to watch it. It doesn’t always work out, of course. Sometimes you get The Ladykillers. On the other hand, sometimes you don’t watch a movie or a TV show because of an actor or a director or a creator. You caught some of their work and you didn’t like it so you right them off. On occasion, though, you might inadvertently watch something from a director or an actor you were not aware they were part of until you started. You might regret it, or it might surprisingly pay off.
This is on my mind because I watched the movie Layer Cake this past weekend. I needed something to watch, and I felt like I had heard good things. Daniel Craig stars and I like a good crime film. Then, Matthew Vaughn’s name came up. Vaughn has directed films like Kick-Ass and The Kingsmen that I just don’t like at all. He can be grotesque and crass and, honestly, kind of lame. Since he’s a British dude, I will say that he seems like he wants to come across as “cheeky,” like he’s snickering at what he can get away with. That doesn’t appeal to me at all.
Nevertheless, I had started the movie, and to be frank I wasn’t sure if there was anything else available I had any interest in watching available to stream. This was Vaughn’s debut film as a director, so I figured maybe he didn’t have as much say in the film. Also, it’s the one film he’s directed that he didn’t write. Reviews were good. I had rationalized my decision making. I gave Layer Cake a shot.
It definitely has some Vaughn vibes to it, but all in all I enjoyed the movie. Layer Cake is quite good! If you like British crime films definitely give it a shot. Craig is excellent as the lead, and it has quite the supporting cast. Sally Hawkins has a small supporting role and she’s basically unrecognizable. That probably didn’t need to be mentioned, but it’s true!
Now, I’m not arguing that you should watch any movie or TV show that seems intriguing in spite of who is attached to the project. If you don’t like a director, you probably won’t like their movie. Sometimes, though, you get a Layer Cake-type experience. A little gamble now and again can pay off.