Film Review: Pulse-Pounding Action, Complexity Define ‘Easy Money’

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CHICAGO – Desperation is the best emotion for formulating action movies. There is something basic and true about a chase, for example, or a heist gone bad, when it’s the “end of the world” for a character or circumstance. “Easy Money” has that vibe, and delivers on some great sequences.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Basically a film about duplicity and karma, the film was based on a popular Swedish crime thriller novel that has the same character-driven popularity as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” There is also the same mystery, motivation, wealth, drama and mayhem that accompanied that painted girl, with a leading man who is a bit of anti-hero snake, but like the girl has an appeal that keeps the audience rooting for him. Martin Scorsese “presents” this film to the U.S., via The Weinstein Company, so “Easy Money” also has that recommendation going for it.

The film begins with a jail break by Jorge (Matias Padin Varela), who turns out to be a fall guy for a Yugoslavian drug cartel, and he plans to get back at them with one final high-stakes cocaine sale. This means he will cross paths with JW (Joel Kinnamen), a Stockholm business student who passes himself off as a high society jet setter, even as he drives a cab. The third person in the mix is Mrado (Dragonmir Mrsic), a hitman hired by the Yugoslavians to kill Jorge. The problem for him is that he has to care for an eight year old daughter, abandoned by her drug addicted mother. The three men all seek “easy money,” a big score that will get them to the next level of their lives.

JW and his taxi boss, Abdulkarim (Mahmut Suvakci) begin to sell cocaine, and Adbulkarim becomes obsessed with finding Jorge because of his knowledge of the drug trade – the expectation is that a million dollar shipment from Germany will yield huge profits. JW uses his money society connections to set up a cash laundering deal through an investment bank, and becomes involved further by saving Jorge from a vicious beating from the Mrado and the Yugoslavian mob. Jorge and JW become friends, and JW becomes convinced that he will never see his share of the drug trade. Mrado convinces JW to do a double cross, which results in an unforeseen turn of events.

“Easy Money” continues its limited release in Chicago on October 19th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Joel Kinnamen, Matias Padin Varela, Dragomir Mrsic and Mahmut Suvakci. Screenplay by Maria Karlsson. Directed by Daniel Espinosa. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Easy Money”

Joel Kinnamen
JW (Joel Kinnamen) Savors the High Life in ‘Easy Money’
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Easy Money”

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