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Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher 2 is even better than the first one
Ulrik Sander-Pedersen11 March 2006
Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher 1-3 is my favorite trilogy of danish film history. Pusher II (2004) is the best part of it. I have been a follower of Refn's work ever-since I saw his directional debut Pusher (1996) the first time. It had a great dynamic, it was brutally honest and it had a documentary-style (hand-held camera, great method-acting etc.) that gave it an authentic feeling.

The story-line: Small-time gangster Tonny (Mads Mikkelsen) is released from prison, but quickly returns to the criminal underworld and gets hired by his father "Smeden" (Leif Sylvester): a big-time gangster highly respected in the underworld. But Tonny has a hard time earning his father's respect, and on top of that, he discovers that Charlotte (Anne Sørensen): a girl he once had sex with, has given birth to his child. Tonny has a hard time making the right decisions, and one day he agrees to help his friend Kusse-Kurt (Kurt Nielsen) purchase heroin worth of 80.000 danish kroner from big-time pusher Milo (Zlatko Buric), but since they are high off cocaine and paranoid they accidentally throw the heroin in the toilet, as they think a police-man enters the room. Now they have a big problem. They have to get 80.000 kroner very quickly...

In 2004 Nicolas Winding Refn almost went bankrupt, because his previous film Fear X (2002) which was shot on a big-budget in Canada, did horribly in the theaters and at box-office. Refn knew that a sequel for Pusher would do very well (Pusher 1 was the most engrossing debut film ever of Denmark) and the universe of the film had lots of artistic possibilities - therefore he decided on making it a trilogy. And Refn very much proofed that it is possible to make artistically interesting films out of rather commercial interests.

It could be argued that Pusher 1 glamorized the gangster/drug underworld at times. This is NOT the case in Pusher II. Although Pusher 1 did show the decay of a cold man in a cold milieu, we never really got into his feelings. In Pusher II we get to feel the pain and coldness (even when Tonny himself doesn't). Pusher II is a docu-drama based on realism (like Pusher 1), and only three characters are real actors. The rest of the cast consists of people off the street, and this very much adds to its authenticity. They do a great job! The second half of the film has a few very beautiful artistic scenes (almost dream-like) that almost pauses the film and gives its audience time for reflecting. In the scenes we see very dominant red colors and the music is almost ambient-like. A great idea that works very well - even in such a realistic film.

Mads Mikkelsen, Leif Sylvester and Zlatko Buric do terrific jobs. They are (as usual) very professional and passionate actors. But the real surprise is the untrained street-actors. They add SO much to the realism and rawness of the film. Pusher II is shot on DV-camera with a hand-held style, but it's far from Dogme. Many scenes look terrific, and the playing with distinctive colors red and green works well. I also have to give credit to Peterpeter's great rock/80's synthesizer soundtrack. It really under-builds the scenes in a scary way.

I highly recommend Pusher II (and the rest of the trilogy) to everyone! A perfect example of an artistic film that actually works for all audiences! 9/10
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As powerful as "once were warriors"
gotchast19 July 2005
I've seen Pusher II during the Thriller and Film Noir Film festival in Cognac. It was a shock at the end. When lights were on, people don't say a word. The last time I was so mute was at the end of "once were warriors". The violence in Pusher II is so realistic, so close, so terrifying for the future of all the characters than we really hope there will be something, even very little, happy at the end to help us to breath. The main character seems to be a bad guy but he's a loser, looking for the love of a father. All his past, aka his friends, family, etc... are lost. i've met the director, he said this a real look on a way of life in his country; but don't think it's just outside : this story can exists everywhere. Some sequences are like nightmare without sleeping. And for the hero, the last hope in his life is a baby, his son, but for what kind of life ? Incredible, powerful, beautiful, PUSHER II mixes all these feelings to be one of the best movie of this year, a movie which marks your spirit like hot steel.
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Tonni is out of jail again, and the world he is returning to is not friendly. Family, friends and girlfriend are still the same. Not to be trusted!
kristianbk6 January 2005
Movies that describe and draws a picture of the bottom of the society is a rare existence. Especially if they do it without glamorizing the sad existences that lives there. This is what Pusher 2 does. It shows us the unfairness and hopeless brutality that rules in these parts of society without hiding the reality behind a sympathetic main character (as we see in many movies). Nothing i hidden. Sex, drugs and violence. Its all filmed with a handhold camera that is so intense that you almost feel like you are a part of the scenes. It is like seeing society through a mirror. These kinds of movies are more important than we often realize especially in a time with too many political correct Hollywood productions and too many meaningless comedies. If you liked the first one in the pusher trilogy this movie definitely is a must see! A must see if you like movies. You will not leave the theater smiling but you will definitely be impressed.
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Outstanding movie
yoshi-3315 August 2005
Pusher II follows Tony after he is released from prison. Everyone seems to think he is a retarded bum. As the movie develops, it starts to turn out that Tony is much more than that. Tony evolves into an anti-hero, and you definitely get sucked into his character.

Pusher II is anything but a follow-up to Pusher I. As said in previous reviews, it's a film 'on it's own'. Frank from Pusher I is only mentioned briefly. A small appearance of Milo from Pusher I is also in place.

This is a great film with a lot of depth in the Tony character. It's flawlessly acted and the cinematography is gritty, just right for this kind of movie.

If you liked Pusher I, you'll like Pusher II. Pusher 3 is also coming shortly....
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PusherII is a fascinating and frightening story of Tonny the lowlife and his slow climb towards a meaningful life.
alke-23 January 2005
I have learned that people criticize PusherII for not having the same high pace as the first pusher movie did. It is important not to expect more of the same if you have chosen to watch pusherII. The first pusher movie concentrates on, and describes the drug dealer Frank. Pusher II, follows Franks former partner Tonny. He's the one being beaten by Frank with a baseball bat in pusher. Tonny and Frank are to very different personalities and the story being told in PII is very different from the story in the first Pusher so it is impossible to recreate the same pace and feeling. Luckily Nicholas Winding Refn is'nt trying to repeat history, he has made a whole new movie, which is entirely it's "own". PusherII is a fascinating and frightening story of Tonny the lowlife and his slow climb towards a meaningful life. PusherII equals the first Pusher.
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Gritty, bleak and unforgettable
Paolo A. Gardinali8 February 2009
Dedicated to Hubert Selby Jr., Pusher II moves in the familiar territory of the New York writer, night scenes populated by strippers, drug addicts and hopeless petty criminals. Unlike Last Stop Brooklyn, and the first movie in the trilogy, Pusher ends on a high, pun not intended, with a glimmer of hope to illuminate the Scandinavian night that most of this movie seems to embrace.

Eight years have gone by since Frank from Pusher broke Tonny's head with a baseball bat. Frank is now gone, and Tonny, the eternal screwup, seeks criminal success working for the big boss himself: his father. What he finds of course is deceit, empty violence, cocaine-fueled failures of all kinds.

Even when seeking redemption in a loveless world Nicolas Winding Refn's characters are still unable to talk except that with fists or knives, unable to act or to stop acting if not by chemically quelling one's fears. This movie is less violence, but perhaps even scarier than Pusher II. It is because of the absolute absence of human empathy or maybe just because is a little bit of Tonny in all of us.
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Quiet with the smell of salt water and concrete
johanevander17 March 2006
Just like Pusher, Pusher 2 presents you with a world of rain, seaweed and concrete. Mybe not even concrete but mere plain dirt.

Although not as strong as Pusher it still grabs you and keeps you in its arms through the entire journey of Tony's confusing and degrading life, right out of prison.

Fragile and non-existing relationships develop back and fourth and eventually it is obvious why the main character is where he is in life; near the bottom of a downslope. Violence and drugs mixed with maybe not so unexplainable relations hands you a bitter and sad father and son situation.
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Great film, enjoyed every moment of it
ivansv16 December 2004
Great film. It's been a long time since the first, so my expectations were not all that high .

We have seen about 100 films about Danish criminal society lately and I thought the subject was being a little over-exploited, but fortunately I was very positively surprised.

Don't expect it to be as much of an adrenaline rush as the first, though it certainly has its moments. However, the society is depicted in a very ruthless manner, as not being all-that-cool after all... The film is great, we follow Tony, he's pretty much like a dog thats been beat too much. Go see it!
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Mads Mikkelsen Strikes Again
slake0912 July 2008
Our protagonist, Tonny, is an ex-con and general screwup who just about everyone dislikes, for good reasons. His father, girlfriend, co-workers and most of his associates consider him to be the biggest goober head around, and from his actions you won't think they are far wrong.

There is a lot of drug use in the film, but not much dealing, so the title is a bit misleading. However, the movie is good because of the excellent acting and the general zaniness of the plot; you never know what kind of mistake Tonny is going to make next. What's sure is that he will make one, and probably in the next couple of minutes. He's the kind of guy you can like on the screen but would be horrified to find living next door.

Mads Mikkelsen as Tonny is awesome; he's about as far from the part of Le Chiffre in Casino Royale as a character could get. At first I had a hard time believing it was the same actor.

Watch this when you're in the mood for a Danish gangster film featuring some madcap fun and general foolishness.
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Worth viewing
Martinjnl19 March 2005
This movie - like Pusher - has a really unique atmosphere. There is something completely mesmerizing about it. Even though it has little action it is interesting and intense. The main character is a criminal who is struggling with himself and those around him. He wants his crime boss father to love him, to respect him. In order to accomplish this he has to prove himself as a hardworking criminal. As a viewer we want to see if he succeeds as a criminal and earns the respect from his father, or if cuts ties with the criminal environment he has been in for so long.

I gave it 7/10 stars.
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Worthy sequel
LuxuryJesper1 April 2010
It is hard to make a movie that hits the same atmosphere, and also the same punch and credibility, which was the case with Nicolas Winding Refn's debut movie Pusher. In Pusher II Refn has got his hands on some of the right stuff, the atmosphere is definitely there, also the credibility to some extent. But concerning the punch, Refn has totally missed, which is something the movie suffers from.

The story takes place a couple of years after the first Pusher, where we this time aren't following the energetic and macho frank, but the subdues and (in his opinion) slick Tonny. He's just been released after 13 months in prison, where he leaves with a minor debt, to another prison inmate. Without having any idea of how to get the money, he seeks out his dad, Smeden (portrayed by a well performing Leif Sylvester Pedersen), to get a job. Smeden is a respected man in Copenhagen's criminal underworld, who is known for selling stolen cars. Smeden doesn't seem very thrilled to see Tonny, but in the end he is his son, so he agrees to give him a job.

But Tonny has got more problems than first assumed, when he gets a visit from a former prostitute, who claims that he is the father to her, a few months old son. Therefore she demands that he takes a paternity test, so see if he actually is the father. And if that is the case, then demand maintenance of him.

Tonny gets furthermore mixed himself up in some problems with some unknown kingpins, because of his friend Kusse-Kurt, who (like Tonny) isn't very clever. This forms the foreground history for Pusher II, but the movie isn't even as successful as its predecessor.

The main character Tonny, is as mentioned a very subdues person, which is seen in peoples perception of him. Everyone besides his friends treats him very poorly, and considers him a loser. He pretends to not care about this, but deep down it hurts his self-esteem. Because of this, he has a very strong necessitate to show himself off, and has besides of that a strong need for recognition. This is the reason, why he does almost everything people tell him to, and puts up with people calling him various terms of abuse almost constantly. He seems most of all like a dog, who through its whole life has been beaten, and now just obeys orders, to get higher up in the hierarchy.

This does that the movie is very "fluctuating", compared to Pusher, where there was a goal, and a manipulating and controlling person steered towards it. Because of this, Pusher II is not very good as a whole. The small loose ends in the story, is in the end supposed to appear as one big problem, which doesn't work after the intention. The movie was made because Refn had money problems, which can be seen. Many of the key things in the story, feels a bit like makeshift solutions, which were put together as fast as possible. I'm most of all referring to Tonny's friend Kurt's problem with the unknown kingpins, which doesn't work in any way after the intention.

But in spite of the movies weaknesses, it still has its positive elements. The characters aren't something to cheer for, but concerning Tonny's life, you as a viewer really get the impression of how he is feeling. One of the last scenes, where he is sitting in an apartment and gets smeared, is very convincing. You can feel exactly how he feels, which is due to Mads Mikkelsen's performance. He (in spite of the few work conditions) really puts his stamp on this movie. After a few comical parts in movies like Blinkende Lygter (Flickering Lights) and De Grønne Slagtere (The Green Butchers), he again proves what a brilliant character-actor he is. You really get under the skin of Tonny, and experience how life is for a criminal, who can't find his place in the world.

As a sequel to Pusher, the movie isn't worth a lot. But as a single movie, that shows a portrait of the criminal environment, it still detaches itself. The realism that its predecessor had is still very much there, something that doesn't happen a lot in a world, where Hollywood is spitting one unrealistic action film out after the other. So thumbs up to Refn and the actors for a fine drama in the criminal world, and let's hope that Refn continues to make movies as good as this or even better in the future.
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An impossibly great sequel
evileyereviews11 August 2010
While this sequel to the groundbreaking Pusher lacks the striking fast pace of the original, it instead creates an atmosphere that lets this one stand on its own as a movie. Shot in a linear sequence, most of the cast are actually street criminals, and the biting edginess is almost palpable. Basically, this flick revolves around a scumbag's life after his release from prison. Amidst general stupidity and heavy drug use, the best of life's choices are not always made. This guy is such a lowlife that it becomes unimaginable that the viewer can feel for him, and yet we do. Through the blur of a cocaine haze, Tonny, our antihero, wants all of the same basic things in life as would any person, but instead finds his family and friends have abandoned any semblance of respect for him and even themselves. Of course, things turn foul for Tonny, how could they not? The acting was intense and phenomenal, the direction another example of guerrilla filmmaking. The story was perfectly simple and effective, though sadly believable. Overall, this was an impossibly terrific followup of the original.

Evil Eye Reviews
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Great acting but weaker plot!
robo829 July 2006
Pusher II keeps the great acting and very good direction of Pusher, but it loses some plot-wise. Whereas Pusher felt like a story from beginning to end, Pusher II feels more like a collection of well crafted scenes.

Also the director slightly over-establishes Tony's emotional state, in showing scene after scene how impotent he is, how unloving his father is and how everyone views him as sh-t. He does get away with it though, since the acting and directing overshadows it anyhow.

As a sequel you might ask why it was made - but as for acting and direction, this is as good as it gets.
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Quite disappointing
torelaursen6 January 2005
Pusher 2 isn't really a worthy follower to Pusher. The tension and seriousness is gone and the cast seems very weak. Although there are some very funny scenes in the movie that justifies it as watchable. Mads Mikkelsen is a solid leading actor but you miss the same kind of despair witch Kim Bodnia brilliantly pictured in the first movie. Hopefully the third one will clarify a few things and see Kim Bodnia return as Franke. "The Blacksmith" is very weak as a local godfather, as well as the rest of the supporting actors. Mads Mikkelsen saves the movie, but doesn't make it really good.

Quite average movie, a good laugh but nothing more. 5 out of 10.
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Evil versus stupidity?
stensson29 May 2005
One might wander why we have this obsession for people living the most dirty lives. Why do we bother about those who have no morality at all? They are not like us, although some schools say they are. I doubt it strongly.

But the obsession is there, both among film makers and audiences. Maybe it's because it's easy showing conflicts and feelings among those who aren't afraid of such things. The mobster world, in film anyway, is so obvious.

Here we have the absolute loser, rather stupid too, who is beyond all respect, although he has that word tattooed on his shaved head. You watch him fall and after he at the end has showed some "courage", you watch him at the complete bottom. There is absolutely no respect left in this world for him. If not...? Well, watch this Danish film to find out.
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thegreatdane197524 April 2005
Pusher was a great movie no doubt so clearly i expected A lot from this one but i'm sorry to say that it does NOT and i repeat NOT at all reach the heights of the first one.

it's generally boring and not so tuff and scary as the first one cause i can remember in some scenes from Pusher i was really frightened but not at all in this one.

Mads Mikkelsen does a good job definitely but i really missed Kim Bodnia cause his role was far more intense and now i've heard that his not in pusher 3 neither is Mads! i hope pusher 3 goes back to the original environment from the first one and i'm glad to see that Zlatko Buric is back in this one cause he has only a very small role in pusher 2 and that sucks!!
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Lacks the nerve of the original * Spoiler alert *
poul-417 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Just caught Pusher 2 at the gala-premiere last night. Even though I really like Nicolas Winding Refn, this sequel just doesn't have the same intensity as the first one. There simply isn't any punch in it.

All the actors are really good and there are good scenes here and there, but the overall construction of the story is just too, well... constructed.

The whole plot of the companion of Tonny's gangster-dad trying to screw Tonny over to pay back Tonny's dad is just too far fetched and unbelievable.

And the resolution, in which Tonny kills his dad, then steal his own daughter away from her drug abusing mom, is just plain stupid. What kind of future can a coke sniffing, repeated offender and now murderer, possibly offer his daughter?

What a shame. Hopefully Pusher 3, shot back-to-back, will be better.
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A brutal masterpiece about the modern underworld
Leon Smoothy24 March 2018
As a fan of all of Winding Refn's movies, this is up there with Pusher (1) and Bronson. A painfully realistic picture of the Scandinavian crime underworld, with very few winners and many, many losers ruining their lives. This movie does not hold back on anything - it's not the Hollywood glorifying tale about "career criminals" - it shows the reality of this life, with no honour and so many betrayals. Tonny is a character from the first Pusher movie, this time just out of a jail sentence, returning to his former associates, with no money, no real friends and no assets whatsoever, seeking refuge at his crime boss father, who has always despised him and humiliated him.

Desperate to make some kind of livelihood and impress his dad, "Smeden", he turns to some old companions, only to find betrayal in return. He's not "tough enough", more sensitive and unsecure than others in his crowd, and pays a heavy price for it. There's no winners or losers here; It's the real world, and it will leave you emotionally drained after seeing it, but if you are looking for a realistic depiction of a modern criminal's haunting, gruesome and stressful life - look no further.
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A sequel that improves upon its predecessor while still remaining faithful to its characteristic tropes.
samuel_ronalds6 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Pusher II" is, in almost every way, an improvement upon the first "Pusher" film. Whereas the first film focused on how the criminal activity of the main character affected his relationships and, subsequently himself, and in doing assumed a very physical and corrosive quality to its narrative, "Pusher II" aims for something more intricate. Instead of focusing on how the professional life of the main character digs into his personal life, the film intertwines both the professional and the personal to the point where they cannot be considered exclusively of one another. This is done with the same style of intelligent and subtle writing displayed in the former film; the main character is Tonny - who was the best friend of Frank, the main character from the first film - and, upon leaving prison, he enters into a criminal automobile business with his father, who also serves as his criminal authority throughout the film. This unstable and often passively hostile relationship serves as the fulcrum of the film's narrative, and from here fork two sub-narratives, each of which pertains to either the professional or the personal aspect of Tonny's life. The personal is a woman he once slept with and mistakenly impregnated. She is seeking what he owes her as the absent father of their son - however, she hates him, and considers him scum of the lowest order. The professional is a friend - or perhaps merely an acquaintance - who slyly ropes Tonny into an attempt on his part to execute a deal, and to settle the resulting debt after that deal blows up in his face. Each of these subplots serve as crucial indications of the narrative's intricate welding of the main character's lives - the personal presents a gradual character development for Tonny, who comes closer to accepting his role as a father as the film progresses, even if it is in an attempt to impress his despondent father. The professional, on the other hand, accentuates the less focal role that the criminal elements of the film play within the narrative. Whereas, in the previous film, the main character spent his time attempting to appease a debt that he was directly responsible for, in "Pusher II" Tonny becomes involved with a man who is attempting the same thing. It can be said that, off-screen, this individual is undergoing a very similar narrative to Frank's from the first "Pusher," yet Tonny's more reclined involvement in it is what we experience within this film. The characters are just as strong and realistic as the first film, thanks to the same characteristically subtle and intelligent writing, combined with nuanced and masterfully refrained performances - particularly from Mikkelsen. There is also greater emphasis on the regard in which supporting characters regard Tonny, in contrast to the first "Pusher," where most characters afforded Frank a relatively equal degree of reverence. The film also serves as a worthwhile sequel - casually referencing aspects of the first film without dwelling on them for the sake of forced interconnectedness. In all, "Pusher II" presents an improved narrative than its predecessor - whereas the former film presented a man and his personal life being eroded by the stress of his professional life, this film presents a man attempting to balance the two, and subsequently commencing a gradual and arduous climb to becoming something more than what he starts out as. The visual elements of "Pusher II" also present a drastic improvement on its predecessor. Whereas the first "Pusher" possessed a rough and raw visual style that suited its narrative very well, "Pusher II" retains this style while managing to improve on certain areas. The camera work is more graceful, without robbing the film of its DIY aesthetic; and the framing of shots is improved, displaying greater composure and aesthetic craftsmanship. The direction also manages to flesh out more intricate features of the writing, often through close-ups and slow push-ins to define states of anxiety or certain mental realisations. Also, the lighting is drastically improved, and hence there are no longer scenes of complete darkness, while all the while maintaining the impression of having been shot exclusively in natural lighting. The film is also able to implement style without interjecting the gritty quality, often through the selective use of music - whereas the first film consisted almost exclusively of rough and ready Punk instrumentals that would often explode into the screen, "Pusher II" contains pieces that steadily build up, hence heightening suspense within key scenes, as well as ambient pieces that are able to add an ethereal mood to scenes of latent and powerful emotion. Certain scenes of subdued tension also sound as though they contain extremely quite harmonies - simmering just beneath surface level. Overall, both the written, acted and visual aspects of "Pusher II" all work harmoniously to bring about a work that is in equal parts rough and realistic as is stylish and at times cerebral. The film maintains the characteristic intelligence and subtlety of the film preceding it, while exploring new narrative structures and presenting greater degrees of intricacy and artistic ability.
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Why can't you be like everybody else?!
AgentSniff11 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
In the second part of the Pusher saga Nicolas Winding Refn zooms in on Tonny, Frank's buddy from the first film. In the last film Frank choose to beat his friend half to death with a baseball bat. Tonny survived with scars and what seems to be brain damage. Tonny has just come out of jail and struggles with debts, a child he unwillingly fathered with a prostitute and earning the love and respect of his father, the ruthless gangster kingpin known as Smeden. If the first film made Tonny look ridiculous, this makes him right out tragic. Tonny is not a truly bad person, he just douse not know better. He's a kid raised by a prostitute mother and neglected by his gangster father. On his back head he has tattooed the word: RESPECT, but through out the movie he is spit on by everybody except his very sympathetic criminal friend Ø and Milo, the drug-lord from the first film. Smeden has a younger son, Valdemar, with another prostitute and wants to raise the child for himself while the prostitute wants to keep her son.

In this film, Refn once again shows the audience the hell of the criminal world. These are people who behave tough on the outside but are nothing more than psychopaths or uneducated people trying to make a living. There is nothing cool about this way of life. Tonny visits the brothels instead of trying a relationship, this habit is shown to be a indirect influence of his father who douse the same. His drug use has rendered him impotent. Tonny manages to make a fool out of himself time after another, is tricked by the loathsome pimp Kusse-Kurt(Kurt the C**t) and is denied any kind of credit by Smeden when he does well in a car-robbery. When his father finally gives him the chance to obtain his love Tonny had to commit a crime far worse than anything he's ever done Tonny instead make the right choice. It's the most positive ending of any of the Pusher films. Tonny does the right thing and redeems himself. The movie ends with the image of Tonny's tattoo, which is the one feeling I feel for him at that moment: RESPECT.

Mads Mikkelsen is great as Tonny and puts in all the humanity the part needs. Leif Sylvester gives a performance with many layers and sides. Kurt Nielsen is disgusting as the wicked and cowardly pimp and Zlatko Buric steals his one scene. The original music by Peter Peter and his Bleeder Group creeps under the skin.

There is a fantastic lighting in the film with rich colors. On the other hand, the film lacks the nerve of Pusher and Pusher 3. It does not have the same energy and loses on it. But it's far from a bad film. A must see for anyone. And don't forget to see the other parts.
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Offers some insight into Refn's directorial style
kgprophet27 January 2012
I put this DVD in my queue because the director, Nicolas Refn, went on to direct "Drive", which made many critics best lists for 2011. So I was curious what his appeal was from his earlier films. Filmed in Denmark, this is definitely a low budget film that seems to be more of an independent effort than a studio film. Fans of "Drive" may see this as a chance to witness the director's distinct style. You will notice the use of heavy colour and throbbing Euro-dance synthesiser music to set the tone for moments of tense danger as our main character walks into a room. Tonny, the main character, is almost a cartoon character in the way he makes bumbling mistakes all the time. It is a great achievement by actor Mads Mikkelson to portray him as very human and emotionally frail. Otherwise this film would fail to earn any sympathy or interest. Shot in hand-held documentary style, this small film follows shady characters in their garage to their small homes and the whore-house. The dialogue at times feels improvised, and less happens over the course of the film than one would expect. On the other hand, careful attentions was paid to make sure the story didn't fall into an easy trap of cliché crime drama. As we try to figure out the intentions of Tonny, he does something unexpected. It helped create a character arc eventually. My guess is the the first film of this trilogy provides necessary character background that is missing in this film. However, as a standalone film, one can appreciate what other film producers saw in this director and brought him on board to something bigger. Refn was able to successfully translate his unique vision with an actual budget in "Drive".

It might be hard to recommend this film to a non-European audience that might not be used to such low budget productions. But if you compared it to some independent efforts that make their way into local film festivals, you can find some appreciation in the personal touches that help make the film stand out. In this case you have a charismatic lead actor, a director's appealing vision, and a story that defies expectations.
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One of my favorite movies all time
solefab-5330218 July 2016
Being from Denmark I was introduced to Pusher in a early stage. I have lived in pretty much all of the settings of the trilogy (Vesterbro, Nørrebro, Nordvest, Amager) I feel blessed by this movie by Winding Refn. He just captures some of most raw and realistic environments.

The sequel is not as fast moving as the first but nonetheless still a top tier to me. The story of Tonny is so well portrayed, both by using a great cast of non professional actors and by the cinematography it self greatly inspired by the wave of Danish Dogma 95 - yet still very different.

Tonny is one of my favorite movie characters. A life full of harshness, being constantly pushed down and on the lowest rank in his surroundings.

I am one of the greatest domestic fans of Winding Refn and Mads Mikkelsen - happy to see they are doing so well at the international film scene.

Would also recommend "Bleeder", also a great Winding Refn film with all three Pusher- stars of Mads Mikkelsen, Kim Bodnia and Zlatko Buric.
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Refn and Mikkelsen are in top form.
After Refn made an unsuccessful English-language debut with 2003's "Fear X," he returned to Denmark to shoot parts two and three of "The Pusher Trilogy." But the new films aren't a continuation, and the layoff didn't dull Refn's ability to tell an engaging crime story. In "Pusher 2: With Blood On My Hands," the film explores a drug-dealer's former sidekick as he deals with new challenges in the world of crime, drugs, and becoming a father.

Frank's ex-sidekick from the first film, Tonny, wonderfully played by Mads Mikkelsen is fresh out of prison. Tonny is eager to prove his worth as earner and son to his crime boss father (Leif Sylvester Petersen), known as the Duke. Routinely called a loser by everyone he knows -- he practically invites abuse by sporting a tattooed "respect" on the back of his bald head. Tonny also tries to ingratiate himself with his recalcitrant father (Leif Sylvester Petersen), who can hardly trust him with anything. The back-breaking straw is the appearance of a baby that Tonny's old non-girlfriend (Anne Sorensen) claims is his. The bitterness and betrayal mounts as Tonny begins to wonder if he should rewrite his life, and the fate of the neglected infant.

At its core, the film about is about broken families and serves as a stark reminder of the lasting effects on our actions can have on future generations. Tonny's entire life has been spent on only one thing: trying to gain the approval of his father. And not only that he learns on his release that he is very likely the father of a baby boy, one so neglected by his junkie mother that he hasn't even been given a name yet. Refn is painting a bleak picture of a child without a chance. He is in complete control behind the camera, but this film belongs purely and simply to Mikkelsen. He is absolutely stunning, flawlessly embodying the insecurities and desire that drives Tonny. Against all odds, Tonny becomes a sympathetic hero in an increasingly tragic tale. It's not hard to spot the need that drives his self-destructive behavior: it's practically written all over his face - or at least the back of his head.
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peterroeder348 October 2014
Mads Mikkelsen is awesome, almost superhuman, in his acting here but the movie is quite disappointing. I had seen nr 1 and 3 and now saw this one. Unfortunately it follows the trend of pointless testosterone in Danish gangster movies. Milo only appears briefly. Bodnia does not appear at all. I love Refn as a director and it is not really his fault. The directing and script is great. The supporting actors are so weak as to almost ruin the movie. Mikkelsens dad looks more like Jørgen Leth than a gangster. The acting is so totally amateurish and indeed many of them are not professional actors, I guess. Anyway, this movie (and all of Refn's movies) is still worth seeing.
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Cannot recommend this very very disappointing sequel ....
kimbo1722 March 2005
Seen this clichéd piece of film-making tonight; now I want my money back; extremely disappointing film on all levels.

After enjoying the freshness of the original Pusher, then Bleeder was alright film overall; although it was hailed as a big advertising flop here in Denmark.

Anyway, this Pusher 2, of which I hear the only reason they made this, is that they thought they could big money on a sequel and they needed it because their production company's Fear X was a big flop in America. Personally I think this is always a bad idea to make a movie from this viewpoint.

The "story" follows Tonny (not a bad performance by Mads Mikkelsen but nothing at all special either) as he comes out of prison and finds out about his family and stuff and oh yeah steals a Ferrari; which turns out to be the biggest laugh of the film; somebody leaves a Ferrari in the middle of the road with the keys in it, hops out to say hi to his girlfriend and Tonny steals it...ha ha..yeah lucky guy!!! I love dark and gritty films but please don't give me this clichéd nonsense...and by the way; if all these guys and girls have no money, how is it that every scene you see them, they are snorted coke? It just made it all seem less real and the filmmaker was trying too hard to be "ghetto"...it just doesn't work.

I heard there is another Pusher 3 in on the way, lets hope they bring back Kim Bodnia !!YEAH!! and all will be forgiven for this mess!
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