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Pusher III: I Am The Angel of Death Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2014
With this third and final film in the Pusher trilogy, Nicolas Winding Refn crafts an astounding final to his crime saga that launched his career, and showcased him as a standout, visceral director who has elevated the genre to new, exciting heights of sheer brutality. This is a different take on the crime underworld of Denmark, as Nicolas Winding Refn shifts his attention to a crime lord, Milo, instead of lead character Tonny, who was present in the first two. This is yet another riveting crime tale, one that tells a highly captivating, engaging story that is brilliantly crafted by a director who has a take no prisoners attitude in delivering a crime saga like no other filmmaker. There have been many outstanding genre films, but few have the menacing, riveting quality that really makes them standout. That is where Nicolas Winding Refn's breaks from the mold. His vision, his approach to the material is perfect. He makes a crime film the way it's supposed to be made. The story here is bold, brilliant, exciting and well written in scope. What really stood out for me with the Pusher films is the way Refn's focused on the characters and their actions, and since these films take a look at drug pushers, it's quite the unique and unforgettable experience. This final picture in the series continues that aspect that was present in both previous pictures, but the tables have turned, and in doing so, Refn has crafted a very good, bold, chilling final chapter to his incredible trilogy. If you're wanting a great crime picture to watch, then you ought to check out Pusher III, and if you're into some continuity, I suggest you start by Pusher and its sequel before moving on to this final act. Pusher III concludes the trilogy on a high note, and overall on it's on, it's a great film, a film that ranks among one of the finest crime films ever made, and in regards to the trilogy, it's one of the most entertaining drama's that I have seen in quite some time. Pusher III is a fine storytelling, and by focusing his attention elsewhere, Nicolas Winding Refn was able to deliver a great crime drama while keeping the traditional elements that have made the Pusher films memorable and modern classics.
Al S

Super Reviewer

May 22, 2013
Director, Nicolas Winding Refn saves the best one in the series for last. I Am The Angel of Death is the finest film in the trilogy, its dark, edgy, stylish and surprisingly effective piece of work that goes from the gritty and dirty underworld to the yearning for escape and recovery. A film that makes you take a hard gut-punch that's cruel and nasty. A tough, hard-boiled and very addictive thriller. Zlatko Burik gives a brilliant and truly absorbing performance, his villain Milo is more grounded and compelling in this film, you have sympathy for him and really hope he makes it through. A powerful and engrossing classic. This series is some to the finest and darkest work about the crime underworld ever,
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2013
Nikolas Winding Refn leaves the trilogy on a commendable and suitably dark note. The ending says it all really. I liked the way he brought back Milos as the lead in this installment, unexpected but very welcome. Again, the glamour of being a successful gang boss isn't what it's cracked up to be, the underworld of crime looking as dark and miserable as ever. I loved the conclusion and the return of Slavko Labovic as Radovan was a real treat and another welcome surprise. A brilliant trilogy.
gor41
gor41

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2011
Authentic if grimey end to the trilogy with less engaging characters and unnecessarily gorey moments.
axadntpron
axadntpron

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2011
Who in their right minds would have ever centered a film around the character of Milo. Who cares about his back story and what makes him tick? Refn does and does it extraordinarily well.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2008
The third and final part of the Pusher trilogy concentrates on local mid level drug distributor Milo from both the previous films who once again has a deal go sour and finds himself indebted to some Albanian gangsters. Pusher III has all the same strengths and weaknesses of the previous films; it has a stomach churning realism (especially during the disposal of a couple of bodies that's so gruesomely realistic it makes the one from Donnie Brasco look like the "how to" section of Blue Peter), attention to detail and naturalistic performances. But it is also full of unsympathetic characters, zero humour and exactly the same kind of unsatisfying conclusion that the first one had; in fact the entire trilogy felt a bit like watching random, unconnected episodes of the Sopranos in Danish. At its best, it's intense, disturbing and brutally believable but it's definitely a slow burner which made me think the sensationalist subheadings of the sequels and twin pistol toting artwork of the DVD cover seemed a bit like false advertising as there is little in the way of action throughout the whole trilogy. A good, solid set of gritty crime dramas, but anyone expecting high octane action will be disappointed.
rubystevens
rubystevens

Super Reviewer

October 28, 2009
the third film follows milo, the serbian crime lord, in dealing with his business and his family. the frightening character from the previous films is revealed to have problems of his own. he struggles with sobriety while things slowly spin out of control, culminating in a horrifically bloody scene that would never make it into an american film. all three highly recommended to fans of gangster and crime drama
Antony S

Super Reviewer

November 24, 2006
The third (and probably final) part of Refn's Pusher trilogy focusses it's attentions on Milo, the drug lord from the first two instalments. Now at a ripe old age, and more or less a joke in the local crime community, Milo finds himself the day from hell in recieving a promised shipment of heroin as a massive batch of ecstasy, making food for his daughter's birthday party, preventing any mishaps with his short-tempered thugs, and his own addiction problems.
Refn is once again in the visual zone, adding to Milo's frustration with some impressively long takes and marvellous colourisation. The violent acts of retribution are of course present, our protagonist's actions justified by the dog-eat-dog nature of his arse-end of Copenhagen. Though hardly as vital or striking as his debut, Pusher III is certainly worth watching, and the third act (concerning the effective imprisonment of a girl as sexual fodder for two vicious types) is excellent, dealing with the various moral shades of a grey in a violent world.
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

November 6, 2013
It's taken me three movies to this, but here goes: "You know the dealer, the dealer is a man, with a lump of grass in his hand, but the pusher is a monster, not a natural man!" That's right, it's time for the third and final chapter in Denmark's answer to "The Godfather", because "just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in... or push you back out... or something". You know, I'm sticking with "push", not necessarily because it goes with this series' title, but because I've always been pushed out of these boring films that attempt to be subjective, and therefore draw you in, with this film being... well, an exception. Yeah, I actually kind of like this, probably because this installment features a protagonist who is a full-blown Serbian, and therefore more exciting than the usual Dane, as surely as the last film at least attempted to set up opportunities for a sequel. Granted, this film barely has anything to do with the story of the last film, but still, "Pusher II" ended on what appeared to be a cliffhanger, unlike 1996's "Pusher"... I think. Yeah, I can't remember where "Pusher" ended up, and to tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure that "Pusher II" left an opening for a sequel, because, you know, it's kind of hard to remember a dream, which means that I might ought to jump right into this review quick, because even though this is decent, it's not too much less slow, and I don't want to run the risk of forgetting that I'm reviewing... um... "The Godfather Part III". I can't even joke about that, because I'm one of the few people in the world who love "The Godfather Part III", as well as one of the few people in the world who didn't like the first two of these film, and isn't even crazy about this final installment, which is indeed better, but not by a substantial margin, for several reasons.

Let me tell you, what really did a serious number on the predecessors was their plot concepts' questionable layouts, and while this film is much less about aimless meditations upon nothing, it still has natural shortcomings to subject matter, having a minimalism to its scope, as well as some rotten protagonistic characters, who are more well-handled than ever, but kind of exacerbate this story concept's limitations in meat, further limited by familiarity. While I'm relieved to see that writer-director Nicolas Winding Refn has really cooled it with that offbeat, meditative storytelling that ruined the predecessors, - which even ran together because of their following a questionable storytelling structure so closely - by conforming more to a less experimental, more engaging plot structure, this film exacerbates the sense of conventionalism that even loomed over this supposedly "unconventional" predecessors, following a predictable path, and even way too slowly. I've said this time and again, but I am still proud to say that we're not dealing with the misguided experiment that was the first two "Pusher" films, and yet, this film isn't too much less limp than its predecessors, going bloated by repetitiously excess filler, as well as material whose meandering eventually leads to a lapse in focus, something that this effort should be above. No matter how much more focused this film is than its predecessors, coherency is still limited, and such unevenness in pacing emphasizes narrative shortcomings, especially when backed by limps spells in atmospheric momentum. There's more atmospheric bite than ever, and that's, of course, largely because material is more frequent, yet considering that there are still natural shortcomings and excesses, it should come as no surprise that there are moments in which material to soak up with a near-consistently hyper-meditative atmosphere runs out, resulting in dry, maybe even dull spells, many of which distance in a way that some may recognize all too well from the mediocre predecessors. The film is decent, and that's more I can say about the first two "Pushers", but to tell the truth, the final product doesn't go all that far once it breaks from mediocrity, going held back by familiarity, pacing problems and atmospheric dull spells behind a minimalist story, almost to the point of collapsing short of decency. Well, I'm happy to say that such a collapse does not come, because no matter how flawed this film is, it settles many of the missteps made by its misguided predecessors, and meets them with more than a few strengths, some of which are sharper.

Now, if Morten Søborg's cinematographic abilities have improved since "Pusher II", then it's hard to notice, though definition does still seem more crisp, as surely as the tasteful color plays that were particularly sharp in "Pusher II" remain to polish the lens and enhance the engagement value to an immersive, if sometimes dizzyingly shaky realist shooting style, while Peter Peter's and Peter Kyed's stylish score works to liven things up a bit. Style isn't too much sharper than it was in, say, "Pusher II", which was still dull, so the aesthetic polish doesn't flavor things up all that much, but it still settles blandness to a certain extent, though not as much as, of all things, substance. Again, natural shortcomings are still here, but they're less backed by such questionable storytelling ideas as thorough meditations upon people doing little, if anything at all, thus, it's much easier to see the compelling element within this subject matter dealing with the business and human depths of the drug pushing industry, especially considering that questionable characters engage more than ever because they're being more well-drawn than ever, as well as as well-portrayed as they usually are. There's a little more acting material than usual, even if it's still limited, and that goes a fair way in inspired charismatic and convincing performances, the strongest of which being by leading man Zlatko Burić, who truly deliver with his subtly layered and intense portrayal of a drug pushing veteran who grows tired of a rotten lifestyle as he finds himself getting in situations that he has rarely, if ever faced before, while struggling with the very addiction whose presence in others is how he makes his living. There's a lot of emphasis on Burić's Milo character, and while Burić isn't all that excellent, he's strong enough to carry much of the film, though not without the help of his onscreen peers, because while this film is more well-done than its predecessors, acting is still the only truly consistent strength. That being said, Nicolas Winding Refn's directorial performance is also worthy of praise, at least to a certain extent, as it secures the final product as decent, as surely as it secured the predecessors as mediocre, because even though slow spells in storytelling cannot be ignored as somewhat distancing, there's less attention being placed on nothingness, as well as meditations upon subtle intensity that sustains a certain consistent degree of intrigue, the heights of which can be found when material really kicks in, with tension, if not a hint of dramatic resonance. The strengths that save the final product from the fate of mediocrity that ultimately overpowered the predecessors are subtle, but those light touches end up going a pretty good distance in keeping you going with aesthetic and dramatic engagement value, even if remains seriously flawed.

When it's time to come down from this final "plunge" (You know, like syringe plunge, as in hard drugs... or something), you're left with a final product whose natural shortcomings go so emphasized by familiarity, often unfocused dragging and sometimes dulling atmospheric cold spells that it comes close to collapse into the mediocrity that plagued its predecessors, but questionable storytelling is settled down, allowing you to soak up the handsome cinematography, strong acting - especially by leading man Zlatko Burić - and generally endearing direction behind intriguing subject matter that make "Pusher III: I'm the Angel of Death" a genuinely decent and often effective, relatively worthy conclusion to a generally misguided saga, even if it too has misguided moments.

2.5/5 - Fair
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2007
Pusher III is strong stuff indeed, and a great deal more successful than Pusher II, whilst still not nearly as effective as the first film. Concentrating on drug lord Milo, who was a secondary character in the first films, his is a gripping story that takes place over the course of one day. Now aged and seemingly out of touch with the world, he's becoming a laughing stock with his 'pushers' and battling with his own addiction, whilst trying to ensure his (extremely spoilt) daughter's 25th birthday party is a big success. When a deal goes pear-shaped, Milo has to simultaneously 'help out' two would-be sex-slave traders and keep his daughter happy. I can't decide if this is a good film or not - it's certainly gripping, very well filmed and features an excellent lead performance from Zlatko Buric as the deluded Milo; it feels like he's gradually decaying with each passing minute. The shocking, genuinely sickening final act of violence is jolting and seems to reinforce the point that a criminal underworld rewards in the loss of soul, the loss of self. Not for the faint-hearted.
William G

Super Reviewer

November 24, 2006
Solid acting, familiar territory.
Francisco  G.
Francisco G.

Super Reviewer

December 18, 2011
On the final take of Refn's crime trilogy, this time we follow the breakdown of Milo, the druglord who can't compete with the yonger generation of criminals.

More of a character study rather than a crime thriller, it's not as affecting as the second Pusher flick because... well, things get really nasty, grim and way too detailed for it's own sake.
But it's still a very solid take much like the previous movies, worthy of checking out.
November 24, 2011
Perhaps the most emotionally effective clean-up of bodies ever put to film, it really makes an impact on what it takes and means to actually take a human life.
September 29, 2013
Somehow this movie makes you relate to the trilogy's most frightening character. We follow a couple of days in life of Milo, a middle aged mobster who has to deal with bad business, his daughter's birthday and battling drug addiction all at the same time. A great Pusher follow up, although unlike the first two films this one takes a dark and EXTREMELY GRAPHIC turn near the end. RECOMMENDED
abbywaynegacy
June 22, 2007
At first I wasn't as interested in this last film in the PUSHER trilogy because it just wasn't grabbing my interest right away like the previous two films did. However it is a fascinating character study of Milo. Eventually I did start to get intrigued towards the end as tension suddenly explodes in one out of control scene involving a girl trying to escape two very evil guys. I liked how Milo was making an honest effort to clean himself up but on this particular day with the unfortunate situation he finds himself in, staying sober proved to be nearly impossible for him. I especially liked the character of his old friend Radovan, who helps out Milo in an amazing show of friendship. Favorite scene: Radovan helps Milo by showing an interesting way to dispose of a dead body.
aboccamazzo
July 19, 2014
8/10
End of the trilogy. The cut up scene is so nasty
June 9, 2014
Now that's about as gangster as gangster can get!
January 18, 2014
My favorite of the trilogy HAIL MILO!
March 15, 2014
While it is the simplest and least effective film in the trilogy, Pusher III still serves as an outstanding way to end an excellent trilogy.
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