The most acclaimed Spanish film of 2011 comes as a great disappointment, especially after such strong opening scenes. Filled with tension and a sense of dread, we watch as the film's drunken anti-hero gets kicked out of one bar and enters another. With a grisly appearance and barely surpressing his fury, we know we are in for something quite unpleasant. What ensues is pure Tarantino and sets up an expectation of a slick if violent thrill ride. What we get instead is a frustrantingly unfathomable police procedural where motivation seems immaterial. Story strands accumulate and are left dangling, as are we by film's end. I don't need to be spoon fed explanations, but a little logic or character background would induce some care factor. As Bart Simpson would say in Spanish - multiplicar por cero (whatever).
There must be a hell of a lot of corruption in Scandiland, judging by the amount of crime fiction coming from our northern friends. Easy Money is a good looking film, nicely shot and edited. It takes a while to get going, mostly because the characters are quite bland and none of the actors make much of an impression immediately. Director Espinosa is keen to assert Joel Kinnaman as a drop dead gorgeous presence whose character can use his looks alone to make it with the in-crowd. He's a dead ringer for a young Stefan Edberg, but like the former tennis ace, he lacks any form of charisma needed to get us on side. Matias Padin Varela registers much more audience sympathy as one of his fellow crims. Things slowly get more involving, but this is nothing out of the ordinary.