Daniel Espinosa’s Easy Money is an entertaining, thriller, despite being slightly overlong.
JW is a business student who tries to keep up appearances with his wealthy classmates, despite his humble background. Driving a taxi to earn money, JW is enticed into the world of organised crime to pay for the lifestyle he wants…
Espinosa’s film, based on Jens Lapidus’ novel, is a competent thriller. Easy Money generates sufficient tension to keep viewers hooked. Moreover, the narrative is crafted in a manner which is both engaging and satisfying.
Easy Money revolves around three main characters, of which JW has the leading role. These characters are well developed and authentic enough for the audience to care about their fates. Nevertheless, given the time dedicated to drawing and developing these characters and their journeys, Easy Money can stumble at times in terms of momentum.
Despite this occasional dip in pacing, Espinosa’s film is well executed. The climactic scenes in particular are adept in conveying the chaos and tension of the situation.
Easy Money offers universal themes of crime and class that could be applicable to pretty much any period or setting. It is not difficult to identify with JW in particular, in wanting to fit in with his counterparts. His choices may not be the most moral, but the reasoning behind his decisions will be something most can empathise with. Likewise with Jorge and Mrado, their actions are somewhat negated by the reasons behind them.
Joel Kinnaman offers a strong and convincing performance as student JW. He persuades viewers to sympathise with his character and predicament. Other performances in the film are also solid. Production values are good, although the soundtrack does become overbearing on occasion.
Despite some minor flaws, Easy Money is a worthwhile watch. Espinosa appears to know what makes a good thriller.