Easy Money’ – an elaborate and satisfying thriller
Directed by Daniel Espinosa
Sometimes it just takes a little bit of American television to help out the little guy. Made in 2010, Daniel Espinosa’s Swedish thriller is only now hitting American theaters, likely on the strength of its lead, Joel Kinnaman, who American audiences will recognize from the polarizing AMC television show The Killing, and who is soon to don the metallic Robocop suit in the inevitable remake.
Hyper in the Guy Ritchie mold, but without the annoying stereotypes, one-liners, and slim narratives, Easy Money is a thriller that fits the trend of recent dark, front-to-back actioners like the excellent French Point Blank.
JW (Kinnaman) is a brilliant economics student, a misfit and a bit of a conman. He’s a taxi driver by night, but spends his weekends playing the part of the rich playboy. In order to keep up his idealized lifestyle he takes on a dangerous gig from his Arab boss Abdulkarim (Mahmut Sucakci): rescue recent prison escapee Jorge (Matias Varela) from the clutches of the rival Serbian mob boss Radovan (Dejan Cukic). JW pulls off the perilous job and is soon set up as the lead businessman in a lucrative drug game.
Kinnaman headlines the stellar cast of characters, largely unknown to American audiences. His JW is ambitious but naïve, taking in every new situation with wide eyes. As in The Killing Kinnaman is immediately sympathetic. He’s wiry and tough, but his lean exterior isn’t able to hide his expressive eyes, which shift frequently from anger to innocence. It’s a type that he’s already mastered in his young career – the good-hearted loner with a past.