The best of the trilogy. While following any old Mads' character seems like a no brainer now, considering his character's lack of importance in the first film, that was a clever choice in itself. You don't often get to follow that guy, letalone revisit him, then we're rewarded with Mads F'n Mikkelsen driving a film with a phenomenal performance.
Better than the original! A good case study of misguided and angry masculinity. Mads gives a stellar performance and the plot steamrolls ahead enough that one doesn't pause on the rather poor cinematography and thinly drawn character, especially female characters ("I just want money from you for the next 18 years"). All in all though, a solid genre offering.
Pusher I was a pretty pointless exercise in nihilistic violence, this film is way better not because direction and script improved but because of Mads Mikkelsen who shows Tonny, the clueless small-time, crook as a desperate, lonely boy looking for salvation in a world without any value. A devastatingly good performance.
From a foolish sidekick to an insanely interesting and deep character. From a playground to a dramatic stage. The second installment changed in tone and feel and I loved it. Refn and Mikkelsen brought their A-game. Both movies are visually very interesting, while the first one is highly entertaining and a joy ride, the second sticks to you.
About loserdom and the utter degeneracy of family life in a criminal milieu. Mikkelsen plays a borderline-moronic, basically good-hearted criminal who stumbles from one shithole to the next, constantly getting disrespected and taken advantage of, and trying to obtain some recognition from his father. 5.5/10. The title's a misnomer (think: LOSER, not "PUSHER II").
Refn seems to be more interested in showing the deplorable lifestyle of his characters instead of reasoning about the relationship between individualism and crime - as in the first episode. Tons of drugs, sex and rock'n'roll, but the load of violence is clearly reduced. Which could seem more "reflexive", but is definetly less interesting.
Aimless first acts are saved by those last scenes. Tonny is a great character. Pusher II, still dark and raw, even though you can spot slight touches of the modern Refn here. Recommended. I liked going back to these characters, actually, the trilogy is really growing on me.
it's tempting to write off refn as a more highbrow robert rodriguez - substituting fanboy handjobs instead of really engaging with genre. but "pusher II" shows that isn't the case. setting aside the manly theatrics of the first installment in favor of an engrossing character study, this adds substance to refn's sexy surfaces. fascinating to see that he can pivot from this to "drive," which works for opposite reasons.