Far from <em>The Killing</em>, and yet: Joel Kinnaman, with Lisa Henni
Far from The Killing, and yet: Joel Kinnaman, with Lisa Henni
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From the start, you can see why Martin Scorsese championed Easy Money (Snabba Cash, from the 2006 best-selling novel by Jens Lapidus). This Swedish gangster flick blasts out from under you like a high-octane muscle car, swerving through prison breakout to thug violence in a john to rich kids at play in an upscale club. Connections are yet to be made, but that red-line narrative momentum has already propelled us into a toxic world of crime and punishment, haves and have-nots.
      Like Scorsese, Easy Money helmer Daniel Espinosa believes "gangster films should always be moral stories," and this good-looking, tautly told, ultra-smart crime story imbeds big issues in riveting action. Everything's in a state of metastasizing decay, from national borders to economies to familial bonds to individual identity. It's a picture of anOld World coming apart, with not much of a New Order in sight. But Espinosa isn't preaching; he keeps his ideas animated, on the move, in the hotwired lives of colorful native sons and nomads—Swedes, Arabs, Serbians, Russians, Armenians, Chileans, et al.
      Our ride through these twisty byways is JW (Joel Kinnaman), a good-looking business major who lives in claustrophobic student housing and drives cab to pay his bills. His kip is plastered with pictures of male models, for our man JW is nothing if not a chameleon, changing style (and even dialect, though we English speakers won't catch that) to suit whatever class or ethnicity he's hanging with.

Ride to the end of the line at http://movies.msn.com/movies/movie-critic-reviews/easy-money.12/#Review_0