In this third installment of the 'Pusher' trilogy, we follow Milo (Zlatko Buric), the drug lord from the two first films. He is aging, he is planning his daughter's 25th birthday and his ...
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Nicolas Winding Refn
Rikke Louise Andersson
1000 AD, for years, One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by Are, a boy slave, One Eye slays his captor and together ... See full summary »
Nicolas Winding Refn
A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.
Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Kristin Scott Thomas,
In this third installment of the 'Pusher' trilogy, we follow Milo (Zlatko Buric), the drug lord from the two first films. He is aging, he is planning his daughter's 25th birthday and his shipment of heroin turns out to be 10.000 pills of ecstasy. When Milo tries to sell the pills anyway, all Hell breaks loose. (Slavko Labovic). Written by
An exciting and experimental final-chapter in the Pusher trilogy 9/10
Storyline: 10 years have passed since the first PUSHER movie. Big-time drug dealer Milo (Zlatko Buric) is stressed. Milo attempts to quit heroin by attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, a shipment supposed to contain brown heroin turns out to contain 10.000 ecstasy-pills, and it's his daughter Milena's (Marinela Dekic) 25th birthday, and Milo has promised to cook food for her 50 guests. Little Muhammed (Ilyas Agac) leaves with the ecstasy-pills to sell them for Milo, but soon Milo can't find him, and the Albanian-Danish gangsters who smuggled the ecstasy-pills into Denmark are stressing Milo for their money. Conidentially Milo meets Kusse-Kurt (Kurt Nielsen) who slips him a small amount of heroin. Soon Milo's finds himself in a spiral of bad decisions smoking heroin, sniffing speed and murdering gangsters. Is Milo's drug empire finally crumbling?
Each installment of Nicolas Winding Refn's docu-drama trilogy tells a story from Copenhagen's underworld, but from three completely different protagonists' POV's. PUSHER tells the story of middle-level pusher Frank (Kim Bodnia), PUSHER 2 tells the story of low-level criminal Tonny (Mads Mikkelsen), and PUSHER 3 tells the story of high-level pusher Milo (Zlatko Buric). The clear message of the trilogy is: you live by the sword, you die by the sword. All three movies end on very ambivalent notes. Frank gets killed... or perhaps he doesn't. Tonny breaks loose of his dead-end lifestyle... or perhaps he doesn't. And Milo's drug empire crumbles... or perhaps it doesn't. That's how life is. It doesn't just stop. Each movie keeps evolving in your head even after they've ended, similar to John Cassavetes' movies or Danny Boyles' 1996 masterpiece TRAINSPOTTING. It's certainly something one doesnn't experience in braindead Hollywood blockbusters nowadays.
Nicolas Winding Refn's PUSHER trilogy is obviously inspired by John Cassevetes' movie-making style as they are more instinctive than intellectual, because the audience goes through the same turbulent emotions as Milo, whether it's melancholy, joy or bitterness. It's not a very fast-paced movie (except for a few breath-taking scenes), but Refn manages to maintain an uneasy tension that keeps the audience on the edge of the seats. It reflects Refn's love for his (three-dimensional) characters. Refn's 95% non-Danish dialog (the cast mainly consists of immigrants) is somewhere in-between Quentin Tarantino and John Cassavetes: very self-conscious, yet also natural and realistic. The foreign languages only adds to the mysteriousness and danger of these immigrant gangsters.
The cast primarily consists of unprofessional actors, some even with semi-criminal backgrounds, and, naturally the great Zlatko Buric whom Refn has called "the new Dirch Passer". Buric brilliantly brings out Milo's two-face ambivalence and vulnerability of an aging man in a constantly changing milieu. Refn gets performances from the unprofessional cast that range from acceptable to great -- they all add to the realness and authenticity. Many of them, of course, more or less play their real life-themselves. Many of the PUSHER characters keep re-occurring throughout the trilogy. For example: Milo (Zlatko Buric) has a supporting-role in PUSHER, a cameo-role in PUSHER 2 and the main-role in PUSHER 3. Tonny (Mads Mikkelsen) has a supporting-role in PUSHER and the main-role in PUSHER 2. Kusse-Kurt (Kurt Nielsen) has a supporting-role in PUSHER 2 and a cameo-role in PUSHER 3. This provides a feeling of continuity to the trilogy's milieu.
Peter Peter (ex-member of the legendary Danish rock-group Sort Sol) has again composed the music in collaboration with Kyed. Although I preferred the 80's-synth-inspired score in PUSHER 2, this time it's effective, bleak and minimal. For example: When Kusse-Kurt slips Milo a small amount of heroin in the grill-bar, shortly after a disturbing, noisy, distorted guitar-riff begins clashing repeatedly with 4 second intervals. It underlines Milo's desperate mind-state. One minute later Milo walks into the restroom to smoke the heroin, where the clashing guitar sound slowly transforms into a beautiful, melancholic piano-tune to underline the heroin's effect on Milo. It's a good example of subtle use of music as a movie-language.
Refn's love for so-called trashy genre-flicks shows through-out his work. Although his movies (the PUSHER trilogy, BLEEDER and FEAR X) are more art-house than genre-pieces, they are loaded with references to his favorite obscure movies, most noticeably in BLEEDER. But also PUSHER 3 contains a subtle reference, probably not known to most audiences. The climax-scene in-which Radovan (Slavko Labovic) slices up the body hanging form the ceiling is an obvious homage to one of Refn's favorite-movies Paul Morrissey's FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN from 1973 starring Udo Kier. FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN is a an original twist on the Frankenstein franchise with necrophiliac undertones. Refn borrows his climax from the climax of FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN: the music, the chains slowly pulling the body up, the depraved depiction of human-flesh etc. As they say, the best directors borrow from their favorite-directors.
Although all three installment are semi-masterpieces I personally prefer PUSHER 3 by a few inches. It's more honest, more disturbing, and more experimental. I have experienced the first-mentioned first-hand, as I spend years in the drug milieu. Refn's PUSHER trilogy is a street-level counterpart to Martin Scorsese's gangster trilogy (consisting of MEAN STREETS from 1973, GOODFELLAS from 1990, and CASINO from 1995), because both trilogies portray the crime underworld from low-level, middle-level and high-level gangsters' POV's. I highly recommend PUSHER 3 especially if you enjoyed its successors, although, the re-occurring characters aside, it's not completely necessary to watch the prequels before experiencing this gem, but I recommend doing so. Watch it! 9/10
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