When JW becomes a drug runner in order to maintain his double life, his fate becomes tied to two other men: Jorge, a fugitive on the run from both the Serbian mafia and the police, and mafia... Read allWhen JW becomes a drug runner in order to maintain his double life, his fate becomes tied to two other men: Jorge, a fugitive on the run from both the Serbian mafia and the police, and mafia enforcer Mrado, who is on the hunt for Jorge.When JW becomes a drug runner in order to maintain his double life, his fate becomes tied to two other men: Jorge, a fugitive on the run from both the Serbian mafia and the police, and mafia enforcer Mrado, who is on the hunt for Jorge.
With three strands that entwine into a single story, Easy Money is a violent, at times bloody, peek under the tarpaulin that covers the Serbian mafia and its nefarious dealings with drugs and murder. JW (Joel Kinnaman) is a clean-cut law student with money issues until the opportunity to run drugs ends the former and resolves the latter. With a girlfriend, Sophie (Lisa Henni), from the right side of town and employers from the wrong side, his life becomes complicated and very tense. Caught between Jorge (Mateas Varela), a fugitive on the run from the cops and the Serbian mafia, and Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic) a mafia hard man, JW winds up in some very deep do-do indeed
Easy Money carves up the screen in a similar vein to this year's Dead Man Down but lacks the panache. Where as Colin Farrell's film had a certain smoothness to the violence, this is gritty and unfinished. It feels a little rushed at times but that's part of the attraction. You really don't want to mess with any of these characters. Ever.
It's very easy to like JW, even though everything screams that he's a fool who is willingly corrupting himself. It doesn't take a genius to work out there'll be serious consequences come the end of the film, but for whom? Kinnaman, who boosted his international profile with The Killing, is on excellent form here. Think Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Match Point only better. Much, much better.
The characters are rounded well enough for us to step back from them but not so much that they appear sculpted film characters rather than raw, unpleasant lowlifes who'll blow you away if it's ever a threat to their survival.
Easy Money is always compelling and the two-hour running time whizzes by in an instant. Alas, by sheer dint of it being in foreign language, it is unlikely to garner much of an audience in the UK and USA; I was the sole occupant of the cinema last night and, whilst it was a joy for me, it doesn't bode well for the chances of the sequel hitting Bristol.
For the philistines who are unable to watch and read the screen simultaneously, Easy Money is good enough to have been awarded an unnecessary Hollywood remake staring Zac Effron. I have nothing against Effron, on the contrary, he impressed me in The Paperboy last year, it's just that Hollywood does have a tendency to take excellent foreign language films and mutilate them. Disagree? Compare and contrast Let The Right One In with Let Me In, or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its remake, or the Hollywood adaptation of TV's The Killing, or
When will Hollywood learn? Stop remaking the great films and TV series and take a look at those that should have been good but bombed. I'm not judging the remake of Easy Money before the cameras even start rolling but, take it from me, it's unlikely to improve on the original. It's certainly no date movie, but a gritty thriller that will happily consume any Friday night.
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- Aug 2, 2013