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Although there is nothing seriously wrong with the movie, it is however a pointless remake of a superior product. Basically the only point of the movie is to cash in the 'executive producers' name/previous work. The performances of most of the actors was adequate, however I would advise anyone interested in the themes and concepts explored in this sub- standard remake to watch the original (in fact watch all 3 of the Pusher trilogy, although 2 and 3 seem a little rushed they remain better quality than this version). Having said that; it was good to see Zlatko Buric in a role in this film.- hmmm only nine lines and just like my friend said to me last night: 'I need another line'. ANyway I give Pusher (2012) 4/10 and thats Pushing it...
The original version of Pusher from Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn
was an excellent crime-thriller with a stand-out performance from Kim
Bodnia. This British remake stars Richard Coyle in the central role.
Its narrative is really very similar to the original. It means that if
you know the original then there aren't really too many surprises here.
Nevertheless, this is a remake put together with some energy and style.
And Coyle is very good in the central role.
The story like before depicts the downfall of a pusher who loses a kilo of cocaine worth £55,000 when he is busted. Milo the Mediterranean gangster who supplied him with the gear demands his money back within two days. This leads to an escalation of violence.
Zlatko Buric reprises his role of Milo the crime boss, which he memorably played in the original. Once again he is a scene stealer throughout. Although it's basically Richard Coyle's movie, he is in more or less every scene, and he propels the narrative. It's a story that has a real inertia. It's fast paced and has real energy. It's helped hugely here by the soundtrack by Orbital. Even when these guys were in their heyday in the 90's their music always had a film score feel to it, so it's no surprise that their music here fits the film so well.
Director Luis Prieto holds everything together well and ensures that there is a stylish look to go along with the grit. Although, I wouldn't say that this is an improvement on the original. It's just too similar. But on its own terms it is a good, energetic crime-thriller with some great performances.
For some strange reason, I thought this film being executive produced
by NWR would render better results. Alas, I was duped again by
I should have known. After all, what made the original Pusher (and it's two sequels) great was not the very basic, over told story, but rather the style of NWR's direction, the performances of the actors and the very real time nature of the film.
The directing here is quite pedestrian and downright lazy, bringing nothing of the style of the original. The acting is decent, but again we've already seen this done better.
And by the way, this film was already remade two years ago in India.
Every director has movies they just LOVE and would want to emulate. For such a basic story, this director could have come up with any one of many basic "drug deal gone bad" stories and used his style to tell it. Unfortunately, this film takes the easy way out, trying to simply capitalize on the name of the original, without elevating it.
I have to say this 'remake' was incredibly disappointing. well to say
that i was expecting much is not quite accurate, in fact, i was
expecting not very much. however, what i saw with this film was utter
mediocrity by this director with poorly directed scenes which if
properly produced would not have made the final cut. overall it's an
amateur production of this cult film remake. around the halfway point
it did in fact start to pick up its pace and there were some memorable
scenes. overall though i have to say most scenes were unmemorable. the
cliché British techno/house score did not help matters. a big plus was
seeing the actor who portrays Milo in this film, as he starred in 2 of
the original pusher films by refn. he actually made the film enjoyable
to watch at times by his performance. ultimately, Refn had far less of
a budget to make his pusher film compared to the budget Luis Prieto had
to work with. So to create such a lackluster effort all around by
Prieto and the crew is quite a disappointment. Refn had stated early on
he did not want to interfere with this remake, though I think he should
have considering it does reflect on him somewhat, albeit indirectly.
Pusher is a flat film, leaving you waiting for a climax that never
happens. The films gives you a chocolate box assortment of every
character in every drug related film you can think of. You have the
loose cannon side kick, the stripper girl friend, the pathetic junkie
and of course the drug dealer heavies. The only person that manages to
escape two dimensions is Zlatko Buric the main bad guy who gives a
standout performance as the smiling psychotic Milo.
For all its style and flashing lights and camera tricky, lies a poorly executed film and I found myself just waiting for it to be over not caring who lives or dies. For it attempts to be modern it's also quite a dated film and seems more like something from the early 1990's. Avoid this film and just buy the amazing orbital sound track. I'm just happy this film was made so that orbital made another album. Bad film! Great Music!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this due to my love of the original Danish trilogy and was quite
excited to see what would be done with this remake. Unfortunately
though, the answer is not much. The film has been made with a worse
cast, worse direction and what even looks like less of a budget
(although I'm sure that's not the case). The bland styling of the film,
set in unnaturally lit night clubs in "London", somehow make Copenhagen
in 1996, seem far more relatable than the modern day England portrayed
Obviously, the film's strength is the still solid script, which remains, for the most part intact and there are some strong scenes towards the end of the film, but it fails in recapturing the emotion or energy of the first. The dynamic of Frank's relationships with both Tony and Flo are poorly executed this time round, with neither dilemma being quite as believable as before, which ultimately confuses who you're intended to be routing for.
Finally, the ending of the movie, intended to be open ended (as in the original), is poorly directed and edited here, which causes it to cross the line into the "frustrating" category. Refn's original didn't hold your hand either, but with the way the original is edited and interplayed, with flashes of the foes after Frank running through his mind, it at least pointed you towards a conclusion in your own brain. This ending, like the film, leaves you a little cold.
I was thrilled when I first saw that a remake (and an English one at
that!) was being mad. After watching the result I can only say that I
wished I never watched it. The original is so much better that I am at
a loss for words.
The plot is still the same, and even though Milo is played by Zlatko he seem to have lost some of his original...zest.
This might have been a descent remake if the casting had been better.
For starters: Kim Bodnia played the original Frank, his alter ego in this one is not even a distant shadow of the same character. Tony comes across like some dweeb...
Sorry but this is not good.
The Pusher in question is Frank. Frank buys drugs from Milo, amongst
others, cuts the coke and sells it on, keeping a small amount back for
a rainy day. Frank's girlfriend is a pole dancer, his best (only?)
friend is an idiot and when a deal that said idiot friend talks him
into goes awry, Frank is on the way to being 'the human formally known
as Frank'. Frank is in very deep do-do indeed.
Sound familiar? It should do; it's been made twice before! Executive producer Nicholas Winding Refn wrote and directed the Danish original in 1996, his feature debut in both roles, and in 2010 there was a Hindi version.
Oh, and he wrote and directed two Danish sequels.
Director Luis Prieto (in his English language debut) and his cast have a lot to live up to but Zlatko Buric, at least, is on familiar territory having played Milo in all but the Hindi version of Pusher.
You'd have thought that between them they'd have got it right fourth time around.
Alas, Winding Refn's involvement in this version, beyond that of executive producer, is limited to a vocal cameo as Amsterdam Bob and the film is left wanting because of it. His absence, not his cameo. Though Winding Refn delivered one of the finest films last year in Drive, Pusher doesn't belong in the same room as that film, let alone on the same shelf.
Pusher is a low budget British film with a small cast and a short running time (89 mins) but that shouldn't count against it because so was Tower Block. However, Tower Block warranted a very solid eight stars while, but for the presence of Richard Coyle, Pusher would fail to limp beyond two. In the opening scenes (and by opening I mean the first 40 minutes or so before I gave up wishing for an improvement) everyone, Coyle aside, seems to be trying so damn hard to impress. Bronson Webb (idiot friend, Tony: "Whatever the opposite of scared is, that's me") is a far cry from the convincing, chilling actor we saw in Eden Lake; Buric clearly wants to leave us in no doubt that he is happy on the surface because he keeps jumping up and down like an excited three year old with a deep voice; and Agyness Deyn (pole dancing Flo) seems unsure of her own ability half the time.
Coyle (Coupling, Going Postal) alone convinces but even he seems less involved in Pusher than we are used to in his other work. He glides along in the film smoothly and, though we never really know what makes him tick, he avoids the block capital, stereotypically villainous character traits. When it is his turn to intimidate, he does so quietly with subtle, determined menace rather than a crowbar. Indeed, when placed in a position of dishing out violence, he is reluctant to be involved.
Pusher is a long way from being a dreadful film but it could be so much better as the original proved. As we departed, I asked my companion his opinion.
"I liked the font." I don't have a problem with liking the font. It's good to have a fellow cinephile who appreciates the small touches, but if that is what is foremost in the viewers' minds when they leave the cinema, the director really needs to ask himself some serious questions.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Rarely have I got to a film feeling so little about it. I don't hate
it, I don't love it, I'm just completely and utterly indifferent to the
90 minutes of droning nothingness.
I haven't seen the original so I cant compare, but the plot is incredibly thin, just an endless chain of events, that follow on from each other with no particular cohesion. An ending that leaves you feeling frankly conned, and some situations that even in the realms of the movie word are unbelievable.
The worst part is the complete lack of exploration of the characters and events. Despite the small cast you come out feeling you know very little about the characters, and equally you care very little for any of the characters. There are no real good guys, no bad guys, just a whole bunch of indifference. Too much is not explored, where did the police come from and why? How is it possible that no word got out that he had been arrested, leading to the belief that he had ripped off the bad guys in some way.
The film ended with you feeling that there was so much more that could have been explored, so much more that you could have been told about the characters, the locations and the events. The trouble is, I came out feeling that I didn't really care enough anyway to even want to know more.
Review: Honestly, how much bad luck can one man have. He was definitely
in the wrong profession! Anyway, I quite enjoyed this movie but the
music was so annoying. All of the actors put in good performances, and
the storyline was cleverly written to keep the audience in suspense. It
does tend to go round and round in circles and it could have done with
a bit more action, but for a British film, it was good to see something
fresh without the same old faces. We have seen this storyline many
times before, but the director showed us a the life of a drug dealer
from a different point of view. I did expect more after watching the
first half an hour, but its not a bad watch.
Round-Up: I haven't seen Richard Coyle in any other movies, but he brings a kind of intensity to the role as Frank, which worked well in the movie. Although his character has followed the bad path in life, you can't help but feeling sorry for him throughout the movie because of his bad luck. The main question that comes to mind whilst watching the movie is, Who Do You Trust, even though everyone seems to like Frank in one way or another. It also shows the dark underworld with drugs and violence which we have seen quite often in movies nowadays with the involvement of Eastern Europeans.
I recommend this movie to people who enjoy there British movies about drugs and violence and a man trying to pay of a debt. 4/10
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