Entertainment Value: 7/10
Historical Significance: 7/10
Disc Features: 1/10
When people think of gangster films, they usually think of
. American gangster films have had
their place onscreen since the days of silent cinema. If anywhere else, Hollywood Japan or Italy
would next be considered for gangster films, but it is the underworld films of Denmark, Iceland
which have more recently been impressive. The latest in these is Swedish
thriller Easy Money, directed by Daniél Espinosa (Safe House) and based on the
best-selling novel, “Snabba Cash” by Jens Lapidus. Sweden
In true fashion of a gangster film, there is a rise and a fall for our protagonist with his venture into a life of crime. JW (Joel Kinnaman) is a lower-class business student struggling to look the part. He spends all of his money on his appearance, hiding his poverty as best he can while pursuing an attractive and rich classmate. When this façade fails him, JW is more willing when an opportunity to make money falls in his lap. A fugitive named Jorge accidentally crosses paths with the business student, and his knowledge of all things money makes him useful.
JW becomes involved in a large scale drug deal, which he helps to broker in hopes of making enough money to finally fit in among his peers. At the same time there is a Mafia assassin searching for Jorge and cops looking to stop the drug deal from going through. At the heart of the complex criminal web is a poor college student trying too hard to impress a girl, which results in a surprising friendship and lesson in loyalty.