When do we get a chance to see a good crime thriller with a riveting plot that keeps you interested to the very end, leaves room for characters to develop and is sprinkled with action scenes that keep you at the edge of your seat? Not often. Easy Money: Life Deluxe, the third film in a Swedish action series, is a crime flick worthy of your time.

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The film splits into a couple of different story lines that intertwine, with JW (Joel Kinnaman), the series’ protagonist, being in the middle of it all. He lives in exile and is determined to find out what happened to his missing sister, Camilla. He soon discovers that his only leads tie back to organized crime in Stockholm. Meanwhile Jorge (Matias Varela) is about to accomplish his last and largest robbery and Marco Hägerström (Martin Wallström) goes undercover into the Serbia mafia to get close to its boss, Radovan Krajnic (Dejan Cukic). When an assassination attempt against Radovan fails, his daughter Natalie (Malin Buska) is pressured into becoming the next boss. At first these different story lines may be daunting, but I didn’t really find either one to be particularly hard to follow. There was no reason search for the plot summary online for the sake understanding what’s going on. The film successfully focuses on each storyline equally, enough so that we aren’t left in the dust, at least.

This film may be the third chapter in the Easy Money (Originally Snabba Cash in Sweden) series, but seeing as the first and second films didn’t really catch on in the United States, I don’t feel quite as bad for not knowing about them in the first place. However, they may be worth watching if you’re looking for some kind of exposition in Life Deluxe. But fear not, I’m happy to report that the film does a pretty good job at subtly filling you in as to what’s going on. Even if you didn’t know the background story behind some of these characters, they are still left with plenty of room to develop, which makes you really care about each of them and keeps you interested in how they will grow and change.

Life Deluxe never feels too shallow in that it doesn’t use its characters as mere vehicles to carry out cheesy action sequences, like so many other crime thrillers do. Still, Life Deluxe isn’t trying to be a revolutionary film. After all, the plot is riddled with clichés, but the film engrossed me so much that I had no problem ignoring them.

The DVD comes with two bonus features: about twelve minute of deleted scenes and half an hour of behind-the-scenes vignettes. Both are nothing special and are pretty much skippable. The film plays in at a satisfying 1080p HD quality. It’s sharp and the cinematography really pops. If you haven’t seen any of the Easy Money movies, don’t sweat it. You can (and should) dive right into Life Deluxe for a pleasant time with this Swedish gem.

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