Easy Money

Thousand and One Edits


12 July 2012| No Comments on Easy Money     by Sean Chavel


Skillful, but unenjoyable. Based on a best-selling Swedish novel “Snabba Cash” by Jens Lapidus, Easy Money (Swedish, in English subtitles) should have an instant pull since it’s about a brash social climber (Joel Kinnaman, suave) who gets into what he thinks will be a six-month stint in the drug trade and money laundering, but finds himself sucked in. This suspense-thriller import was supposed to be the re-discovery of the year, the film that proved Daniel Espinosa as a hot property director. His previous film “Safe House” with Denzel Washington was a smash hit. But there was talk that his previous film, this one, was far more complex. In truth, it’s more confusing than thrilling.

The key reason it doesn’t work is that it has 150 shots too many. I’m guessing there are about a thousand and one edits, and Espinosa jostles his camera left and right too often. And the images have a bleary, hard on the eyes aesthetic. There is no emphasis on anything, and so the drama is muddled and unfocused.

Joel Kinnaman as JW

You keep up with it somehow. Business school kid JW (Kinnaman) gets a cash-grab gig to safe house a jailbreak criminal. It’s frustrating because he’s supposed to watch Jorge (Matias Padin Varela) through his recuperation, but it’s forever before they have a conversation. JW gets entangled with the Serbian mafia, and on the lighter side, romances a socialite (Lisa Henni) with genuine class. Kinnaman, Varela and Henni are the only true nuanced actors of the movie. The rest are livid over-the-top Eurotrash.

“Easy Money” was a success in its home country in 2010. We would have Martin Scorsese to thank for “finding” this film and landing it a United States distribution deal through the Weinstein Company. I’m sorry, but sometimes even Scorsese has bad taste. Have you ever heard Scorsese recommend such over-praised titles as “Open City” (1945) or “The Big Red One” (1980)? But if you admired the look of director Daniel Espinosa’s American hit “Safe House” I could see how you would be curious to take a look at “Easy Money.”

Not to be confused with the 1983 Rodney Dangerfield comedy.

124 Minutes. Rated R. Swedish in English subtitles.


Film Cousins: “The Square” (2008, Australia); “The Town” (2010); “Safe House” (2012); “Headhunters” (2012, Sweden).


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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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