🇸🇪 EASY MONEY ll: HARD TO KILL 🇸🇪
EASY MONEY ll: HARD TO KILL aka SNABBA CASH ll and EASY MONEY 2 (2012) is a Swedish action-drama-crime-thriller. Available on Prime Video U.K., IMDb TV US, FlixFling Can, Apple TV Aus, 2 hrs 7 min. 18 Cert. Swedish, Arabic, Serbian some English with subtitles available.
“JW the promising business student who became an organized coke smuggler in Easy Money, is serving hard time in prison and struggling to get back on an honest path. There are glimmers of hope in his life – some venture capitalists are interested in a new piece of trading software he’s developed, and while behind bars he’s made peace with an old enemy. This all proves to be an illusion. On leave from prison, and back in contact with his former gang, JW learns that once you’ve walked in the shoes of a criminal there just may be no going back.”
Matias Varela as Jorge
Joel Kinnaman as JW
Dragomir Mrsic as Mrado
Fares Fares as Mahmoud
Dejan Cukic as Radovan
Madeleine Martin as Nadja
Joel Spira as Nippe
Lisa Henni as Sophie
Ricardo Marceliono Araneda Moreno as Victor
Luis Cifuentes as Rolando
Annika Ryberg Whittembury as Paola
Cedomir Djordjevic as Stefanovic
Directors: Babak Najafi & Bruce Axl Argeadson
Cinematographer: Aril Wretblad
Writers: Maria Karlsson, Peter Birro, Babak Najafi, Fredrik Wikström
Sound: Jonas Jansson
Music: Jon Ekstrand
Make-up: Jenny Fred
This movie is the second in a trilogy of Snabba Cash (Easy Money) movies.
These movies are based on the novels by Jens Lapidus “Snabba cash” and “Aldrig fucka up”.
A brand new series “Snabba Cash” will be arriving on Netflix on April 7th 2021.
Knowing the basic premise but none of the characters or previous story I did wonder if this film would work for me. I need not have concerned myself because you can dive into this without prior knowledge. The way the story is tackled makes almost all relevant previous connections between characters pretty easy to follow.
This is very much a character-driven film which has some fabulous set-pieces, lots of violence (some of it eye-watering) just as much bad language (equally eye-watering) but these are only to be expected bearing in mind that it is set in the Swedish underworld involving Swedes, South Americans and Serbs. The body count is high and the peril is tangible.
Each of the characters has their motivations and troubles, it is safe to say that no one in this looks very happy with the life they are leading. Good writers put their characters in situations that threaten them and pull them down, this is the case with all the main characters here. Although I have certainly never been in any of the situations depicted in this film it isn’t hard to empathise (at least to a certain extent) with each of the main players. And players they are!
We have broken promises, dreams and families galore. The first scene is of Jorge (Matias Varela) who has a foolproof plan, and the necessary connections, to make some easy money (that’s what this is about, right?). One thing we learn from this film is that this “easy money” is anything but easy. For me Matias Varela’s performance was outstanding, especially a phone call, he has with his mother.
JW (Joel Kinnaman) wants to start a new life when he comes out of prison (he’s about to go in his first unsupervised day-release when we meet him. Does this go according to plan? Loyalty and betrayal are two of the themes of this story. I wanted to punch Joel Spira’s character square on the nose.
His friend (despite everything) Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic) is resigned to staying in prison to serve his sentence but is absent from his young daughter’s life. This is a man who is afraid of nothing, except his relationship with his young child.
Mahmoud (Fares Fares) gets himself in a situation from which he is desperately trying to extricate himself. Desperation is key here and we see exactly how low someone will stoop if they are desperate enough. His storyline reminded me a lot of that of the movie Pusher.
For me, one of the most important themes of this movie is that of family and fatherhood. We see how, due to some frankly appalling choices, these men have all let down the ones they love and in the process break themselves too. Another aspect is that you can see exactly how and why people can end up in situations like this and the personal tragedy it brings.
The dialogue and action in Easy Money ll are both very realistic, and some parts seem like they are improvised. The camerawork enhances the almost documentary-like visuals with the shaky cam helping to build tension and a sense of jeopardy. The make-up and stuntwork are both excellent and I could definitely “feel” some of the falls!
I’d like to do a big shout out here for Cedomir Djordjevic in what was his first on-screen role as the positively loathsome and completely irredeemable Stefanovich (he actually gets this name in the following movie). Magnificent job done, Cedomir!
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, even the parts where I was looking anxiously through my fingers, winced or held my breath! For a movie set in the underworld of drug dealing, prostitution and all the other “sidelines” this is realistic, powerful and in places very emotionally affecting. Highly recommended to those who enjoy the genre and are not put off by the various ways in which the body count climbs.
Won Guldbagge (2013) Best Make-up ~ Jenny Fred
Nominated Guldbagge (2013) Best Actor ~ Matias Varela
Nominated Guldbagge (2013) Best Supporting Actor ~ Fares Fares
Nominated Guldbagge (2013) Best Sound ~ Jonas Jansson
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