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Pusher - Review


Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THE most amazing thing about this British remake of Danish hit Pusher is the presence of original director Nicolas Winding Refn as executive producer. Why he’d want any involvement is surprising, particularly as the film that ensues lacks much to recommend it.

Indeed, rather than re-invent, incoming director Luis Prieto has gone for the more conventional remake approach, while failing to recapture the edgy intensity that enabled the original to become a trilogy.

The plot, for starters, is way too bog standard, concentrating on a mid-level drug dealer named Frank (Richard Coyle) who finds himself suddenly in debt to his bosses and forced to run around London trying to raise the funds before meeting a fate worse than death.

On the plus side, Coyle does offer a sympathetic leading presence who capably mixes toughness with vulnerability and a conflicted sensibility. While Agyness Deyn adds appealing support as his girlfriend and Orbital a distinct, pulsating score.

But Zlatko Buric’s villain is a little too exaggerated to be truly menacing, much of the plot is predictable to the point of frustrating and some of the violence feels unnecessary and exploitative.

Where once this may have seemed fresh and exciting, Pusher now feels tired, generic and dated no matter how hard Prieto works to add some stylish flourishes. You’re better off sticking with the original or checking out Refn’s most recent work, Drive.

Certificate: 18
Running time: 89mins
UK Release Date: October 12, 2012