Sunday, August 12, 2012

Easy Money

 Not the Rodney Dangerfield '80's comedy but a new crime thriller from Norway, endorsed by Martin Scorsese. The film stars Joel Kinnaman, who fans of the TV show, "The Killing" will recognize as detective Holder. As "JW"  Mr. Kinnaman couldn't be more different in character and tone. Here, he plays a business student who likes living well beyond his means and drives a cab just to get by. Dreaming of being part of the jet-set lifestyle he desires, JW agrees to take an unorthodox job from his boss.

       Pretty quickly JW is caught between Serb and Arab criminals who end up battling over a shipment of cocaine. But there is more to this thriller than a simple mob war. Director Daniel Espinosa, pulls you in right from the start. A jailbreak, a bloody fight in a club and rich kids partying seem very disconnected at first but things quickly come together and our protagonist, JW, soon finds himself in way over his head. Mr. Kinnaman is just terrific as he twists and turns with each lie and double cross. The criminals he is forced to partner with are much more than just thugs. Two in particular, have deep back stories and are fully defined characters with their own crosses to bear.

       You can get lost in the growing complexity of the plot and who's who but the film rewards if you are paying attention. It is very European in it's style and sensibility with an uncompromising ending that may not sit well with an average American audience but never the less, it is a powerful and exciting thriller.

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