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The thriller ‘Easy Money: Hard to Kill’ stars sexy Joel Kinnaman

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"Easy Money: Hard to Kill"

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The new action crime drama, “Easy Money: Hard to Kill” stars Joel Kinnaman and he is sexier than ever. If you fell in love with him as Stephen Holder on TV’s “The Killing,” you will love him even more in this. It is so weird to hear him talking in Swedish. He seemed so American on the AMC television series but the guy was born in Stockholm, Sweden. And don’t forget it was the Swedes who brought us “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy.

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This film is also one of a trilogy. The first was “Easy Money” and part three, “Life Deluxe,” was released in Sweden last summer and will be coming to the U.S.

There are talks in the works for an American remake by Warner Bros. that may star Zac Efron. I hope they go with a stronger actor though. The American remake of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy came nowhere near the original Swedish films so this trilogy U.S. remake may run into the same mediocrity. Let’s hope not.

If you plan on seeing Kinnaman in “RoboCop,” which just opened Feb. 12, you should definitely go see this one afterwards, because this film is far better and shows Kinnaman’s strength as an actor. As Holder might say, this film’s da bomb.

JW (Kinnaman) began as a promising business student but became an organized coke smuggler in the first “Easy Money.” Here JW is serving his three years of hard time but looking forward to going on leave. He has come up with a business plan, developed trading software, and hooked up with a partner on the outside. JW’s aim is to go back home, reconnect with his woman, Nadja (Madeleine Martin), and build a successful, honest life. Of course nothing goes as planned.

Directed by Babak Najafi, the thriller’s talented cast includes Fares Fares (“Zero Dark Thirty”), the man with a striking and unforgettable face who returns as Mahmoud. Dragomir Mrsic is back as Mrado, and he has grown close to JW as a fellow prisoner and now as a friend. Matias Varela is back as Jorge and gives a riveting performance.

This is an engrossing crime thriller. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than squeezing your date’s hand in the dark? Go see it.

“Easy Money: Hard to Kill” opens in New York City on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. It’s playing at Cinema Village, 22 West 12th Street. Swedish with subtitles. Rated R. 102 min. It is also available on DVD.

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