A Scandinavian crime film “Easy Money” directed by Daniél Espinosa is a captivating movie dulled by some extraneous subplots.
Joel Kinnaman plays JW, a business student eager to hide his working-class roots. Though he drives a cab and lives in a shabby dorm, he’s studied nobility fashion and mores well enough to blend in with the rarefied crowd he meets through a classmate and eventually to charm Sophie, the girlfriend of one of his moneyed hosts.
It’s JW’s grubbier friends though whose illicit businesses are unknown to him who eventually offer a path to riches. Asked by his boss to go pick up a man being pursued by a rival gang, JW winds up saving his life and tending his wounds at the dorm; after proving his trustworthiness, he gets a chance to use his business acumen to expand the gang’s smuggling operation.
JW’s idea buys a distressed bank for a trifle, then be able to move money and this is. both timely and clever.
Tension surrounding JW’s affair with Sophie works somewhat better, as in a dicey dinner where he lies to her parents for no reason but instinct. But Kinnaman’s watchful performance is keyed to a bigger issue -- the anxiety of being exposed as a class interloper, who won’t fit in even if his plans earn him the millions he expects.