OO7 producer Barbara Broccoli had parted ways with Pierce Brosnan and had narrowed her choices to pick up the license to kill to several choices.
She's said that when she watched Daniel Craig in 2004's LAYER CAKE, she knew she had her man.
Craig is magnetic in his biggest role to date at that time as a soon-to-retire cocaine dealer whose asked to do one quick favor for the country club drug kingpin in charge.
That seemingly simple missing persons case morphs into a labyrinth-like series of complications that escalate into deception and violence.
Layer in two million lbs of ecstasy, one criminal group after another gunning for their own interests and Craig's XXXX is soon buried many far deeper than he cares to be.
Like Craig's Bond, his character here gets bruised, beat and battered, but rarely goes down.
Eddie Temple (Sir Michael Gambon) is not to be messed with on any level and Craig's buddy Clarkie (Tom Hardy in a very early role) add flavor to the mix.
Vaughn has gone one to make some of my favorite eccentric thrillers, including "The Kingsman" series and "X-MEN First Class". He's got dark humor and style to spare, scaring you one minute and making you laugh out loud the next.
Craig's relationship with Sienna Miller is the soft center of all the action, providing quiet moments between the explosive action.
Craig is fantastic, Vaughn matches him and LAYER CAKE turns out to be a perfectly baked thriller that fans of "Snatch" (Guy Ritchie was originally slated to direct before Vaughn took or "Jackie Brown" will find right up their proper English alley, earning an A-.