(director: Daniel Calparsoro; screenwriters: Alejo Flah, Patxi Amezcua; cinematographer: Tommie Ferreras; editor: Antonio Frutos; music: Carlos Jean; cast: Aron Piper (Ivan Marquez), Maria Pedraza (Leticia), Luis Tosar (Francisco Escamez), Laura Sepul (Anne Marie), Luis Zahera (Comisario Roig), Manuel Gancedo (Linares), Nourdin Batan (Yannick), Stefan Weinert (Francois Letissier), Jose Manuel Poga (Jose Luis Ocana); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Emma Lustres, Borja Pena; Netflix; 2024-Spain/Belgium/France-in Spanish, dubbed in English)

“It gives us a Cliff Notes history lesson on fraud and money laundering.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A slick, fast paced and vacuous “get rich quick” schemed Spanish crime thriller, with a voice-over throughout explaining its facile narrative. It’s inspired by true events involving fraud taking place in the early 2000s, that’s centered on the Costa del Sol area of Spain.

There are crooked money operations  set-up  in the following European cities involving couriers- Brussels, Belgium, Geneva, Switzerland, and Madrid and Marbella in Spain.

It’s directed in a formulaic way by the Spaniard, Daniel Calparsoro (“Blinded”/”The Warning”), and is written by Alejo Flah and Patxi Amezcua as a superficial film that gives us a Cliff Notes history lesson on fraud and money laundering.

The film opens in Hong Kong, where the real estate scam is funded.

It follows the small-time Spanish street hustler from Vallecas, Ivan Marquez (Aron Piper), and his quick rise up the ladder of a real estate racket after the euro came to Spain in 2002. He makes his connection with a crooked money man when working as a valet in a Madrid golf club.

Ivan then becomes a Belgium courier, as he transfers money between countries and becomes filthy rich as he schemes to take advantage of Spain’s economic boom and the euro’s instability.

His criminal activities enable him to become a party animal. His hedonist lifestyle is glamorized, as he drives luxury sports cars, has an affair with the beautiful wife (Laura Sepul) of one of his backers and romances the sexy daughter (Maria Pedraza) of another backer.

The pic weakly ends with his downfall and the meaningless message it conveys that “crime doesn’t pay.”

Discover the thrilling world of 'The Courier'. Follow
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