Bronson Webb

Fantastic Fest: Pusher

Editor’s note: The Pusher remake hits limited screens today, so please imbibe this quality review from our Fantastic Fest coverage, first posted on September 30, 2012. Despite what many movie fans might tell you, remakes are not inherently evil. Some movies had good ideas but couldn’t execute them properly, some could use a facelift, and some were great the first time but simply fell victim to the studio’s desire to cash in. Remakes have a bit of a tough road. First off, the they need to do what any movie needs to do: put together a good story and good performances with good cinematography. These are simply the basic building blocks of good films. But a remake has baggage, it has people’s expectations hoisted upon it. And so a remake, unlike a film based on an original idea, must also justify its own existence. Sadly, Luis Prieto‘s Pusher only manages to accomplish one of the two.


Pusher 2012 TIFF

When Frank (Richard Coyle) gets word of a big deal that could help him step up in his drug dealing business, he decides to take the risk and borrows £50,000 worth of drugs from a big kingpin named Milo (Zlatko Buric). Of course, something goes wrong, and Frank leaves the deal without the drugs or the money. As a conciliation prize, he’s got a crazed Eastern European gangster on his ass and a shiny new goal to stay alive through the week. If, after seeing Pusher, all that can be said to describe it is that it is mediocre, there isn’t much else to say. Luis Prieto took Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 film and made it into a story that could only work if the momentum generated by the barrage of bad decisions made by Frank throughout was great enough to keep the audience’s adrenaline pumping. However, the film’s constant use of bad characters, including a ridiculously over the top Milo, leaves something more to be desired.

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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