March 11, 2014

Filthy Review - 'Easy Money: Hard to Kill'

Easy Money: Hard to Kill (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

It’s a strange old world when it comes to foreign language films getting a Stateside release. Sometimes they get the treatment, whereas sometimes they seem to be an afterthought, with an eye set purely on making some cash from the inevitable remake. The Easy Money, or Snabba Cash, series of films falls somewhere in the middle of these, especially if you like to watch your movies in Hi-Definition.

The first Snabba Cash film, which was originally released in 2010 in its native Sweden, got dumped onto DVD in 2012 with little to no fanfare. Hell, I’ve still yet to see it, so you might wonder why I jumped straight into the sequel. Not to worry, as even if you haven’t seen the original, Hard to Kill (originally released in 2012) fills you in on what has gone before.

Fortunately, Flatiron Films and Cinedigm have seen fit to give this sequel a nice shiny Blu-ray and DVD release, and it really is worth your time checking it out. Incidentally, the third film, entitled Easy Money: Life Deluxe will be hitting shiny in May. So keep your eyes open for that one.

The plot, in itself, is fairly standard fare for a crime thriller, but it is no less engrossing for it. The tale follows JW (played by The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman), who ended up serving time in jail, for his exploits in the first movie. However, he has seemingly got his act together and has plans to make some money, legitimately this time.

However, as Al Pacino’s Carlito will no doubt tell you, the life of a reformed criminal is rarely an easy one, and JW is about to find this out.

Now, whilst Easy Money: Hard to Kill might not be the most original film, in terms of plot, is does succeed exceptionally well. It also proves a couple of other points, such as you can make an engrossing and effective sequel, and you can also add some fresh life to a tried and tested formula. This is helped mainly due to a solid script, some taut direction from Babak Najafi, and a strong central performance from Kinnamon.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hard to Kill and would have no hesitation in recommending it. There is an emotional punch to the film, which is so often sorely lacking in films of this type, but you also get plenty of action and a fair smattering of violence, all with a Swedish twist. Okay, so now I am going to have to follow the series completely out of sequence, but it is a small price to pay when, certainly in the case of this sequel, the quality is of such a high standard.

Easy Money: Hard to Kill is released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 11th by Cinedigm/Flatiron Films.

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