Question about the ending of 'Layer Cake' (spoilers)

I finally just got around with watching Layer Cake with Daniel Craig as the main character ‘XXXX,’ and I’m a little confused about the very last scene. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t follow a lot of what was going on, because for some reason I was having a really hard time with the accents. For instance, the scene where Jimmy was talking to what was I guess a cop, and XXXX had the recording of it: I had NO idea what was said in that entire scene, and didn’t figure out that Jimmy was talking to the cops until XXXX came out and said it later on.

So my question is: Why did Sidney kill XXXX at the end? The only thing I can figure out is that it was misplaced anger at the Duke getting killed by Colm Meaney’s character. But I could have missed something in the dialogue that would have given Sidney another reason.

Minor question, I know, but it’s nagging me. Can anyone fill me in?

According to Wikipedia, which I will trust as I found the movie nigh-incomprehensible:

The idiot was mad that the girl he wanted was screwing Daniel Craig, so he shot him out of jealousy. What’s difficult about that.

I prefer the happier alternate ending, though.

I didn’t get the “gloating over his own success” vibe at all. In fact, I thought it was just the opposite- although the little “gang” had declared him “king,” he was leaving instead of becoming boss of the criminal enterprise, as he had always said that he didn’t like criminals.

His clean get-away from the criminal life was cut short by that idiot boyfriend.

Awesome ending, I thought.

Damn, in trying to keep track of everything that was going on, I totally forgot that she was with Sidney at first. That answers my question, thanks.

There’s a happier alternate ending? What the heck happens? I thought the ending was fantastic, even though I was rooting for Daniel Craig.

[hijack]Layer Cake has one of the most awesome openings of all time.[/hijack]

Alternate ending 1 (happy): He gets in the car with the girl and drives away.

AE 2 (ambiguous): He gets in the car with the girl and drives away. The nephew starts his car and follows him.

Both on DVD.

There’s two alternates on the DVD, actually. In one, XXXX and the woman get in acar and drive away from the club, and it shows Sidney following them in another car, then cut to the credits. In the other, XXXX and the woman drive away, and that’s it. That one in particular, after seeing the real ending, feels really weak.

To me the theatrical ending seemed kind of forced, with the guy just randomly shot down. It seemed like a throwback to the Hays code days where nobody could be shown getting away with a crime. It just seemed tacked on, as if somebody said “We can’t have a happy ending. That wouldn’t be cool.”

Just my opinion.

It’s not conclusive that he dies in the theatrical ending. I seem to remember some talk of a sequel with the same character, but that was before Craig became the new Bond, so who knows.

Which alternate ending would you have preferred? I liked the ending because it was so unexpected–I thought he’d won. I didn’t see it as a situation where he wasn’t allowed to get away with a crime but rather that he was in a dangerous profession where people might want to blow you away for any number of reasons, even the stupid one of stealing someone else’s girl–jealousy,the desire to take his place as the kingpin–could have been any reason.

I disliked the ending because I’ve read the book.

That would be lame. He was quite obviously bleeding out, his movements getting smaller and jerkier and his gaze going unfocused. I guess we don’t see the heart monitor flatlining, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that his death wasn’t conclusive.

How does the book end? (I didn’t even know it was a book.)

There are other plot differences, but in the dénoument:

XXXX arranges to meet Tammy in a restaurant but Sidney has followed her. He shoots XXXX 3 times but fails to kill him. XXXX wakes up in hospital with a metal plate in his head and memory problems. A senior police officer comes along and advises XXXX to retire from the business and disappear or he is looking at 20 years. XXXX travels a little before buying a bar in Curacao, Venezuela. He calls Tammy, who tells him girls like dangerous guys but he’s seriously fuckin’ life-threatening, and goodbye. Sidney gets 10 years. So XXXX has his freedom and his stash of cash, but his life is less than perfect because he can’t go home and he has after-effects from the shooting. He also misses the excitement of the business.

Thanks. Well, that certainly is different. I’ll have to think about it some.

The ending of the book would seem to support the notion that he didn’t succumb in the theatrical ending.