Movie Review by EDF
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Matias Padin Varela, Dragomir Mrsic, Lisa Henni, Mahmut Suvakci, Jones Dank
Director: Daniel Espinosa
It seems to have become a recent trend where movies are now being presented by a famous director. This personal stamp of approval is intended to attract your attention to an unknown movie, supposedly that this is as enjoyable as any of the famous director’s work. Going by that logic you should love the movie… right? Well maybe. If directors such as Scorsese, Tarentino, Del Toro and Jackson turned up at select screenings to explain their reason for endorsing a movie, maybe it to would feel less than something of a marketing ploy. As for this movie, Daniel Espinosa does a capable job directing this first film of a proposed trilogy; part two SAFE HOUSE, actually came out in 2012. EASY MONEY was originally released back in 2010, but this is the first time it has reached the UK. Maybe the holdup was due to another thriller, that was the Stieg Larsson Millennium trilogy, that had gained a lot of the attention around that time.
The editing of the first fifteen minutes was jarring as the movie struggled to establish who the audience should be cheering for. This is the first of many problems with this movie. The three main protagonists were not likable. The one character that the audience should be rooting for, JW, is a student who is driven by his blind greed for money and living the high life. He allows himself to be drawn into a world of drug running and is shocked by the violent nasty side of those he is working for. Jorge escapes from prison in order to organise one big drug run. Due to Jorge’s pregnant sister about to give birth to her first child, Jorge is willing to change in order to look after his extended family. As for Mrado, the hired thug, the path his character takes is baffling. Even with the introduction of his estranged young daughter to the story, this comes across as a matter of contrivance to help the development of the character to make him sympathetic.
Overall, the story and direction is not engaging enough to warrant the two hour running time. While there are some scenes that are well directed, having Martin Scorsese’s name attached to this ends up being a distraction. It is difficult not viewing this in trying to figure out which scenes Scorsese liked and why he would endorse this barely adequate thriller.