Matthew Vaughn had been the producer on Guy Ritchie's early films (you know, the good ones), but finally stepped out of his shadow with his directorial debut, Layer Cake. Seemingly very similar in content to Ritchie's films, Layer Cake is actually different, and all the better for it. It shares many of the same factors; colourful language, gangsters, but Vaughn has succesfully been able to stamp his own authority on the genre, and make it feel fresh. Effortlessly slick, stylish and cool, Layer Cake actually feels grounded in reality (unlike Ritchie's cockney caricatures), and it's a story which grabs you and keeps you held tight for it's entirety. Vaughn shows himself to be a master visualist and story-teller, while the screenplay from J.J. Connolly (adapted from his own novel) is complex but manageable, with enough twists and revelations to keep you guessing right until the end. Daniel Craig is awesome in the lead role (a kind of dry run for Bond), while the rest of the cast is packed out with brilliant supporting players (Kenneth Cranham, Michael Gambon, Sienna Miller). Layer Cake is an assured and impressive debut feature film, able to take that most hackneyed of genres (the British gangster film) and breath some fresh life into it. Nice work.