Another raw, robust entry in the Danish crime series, Pusher 3 AKA I'm The Angel Of Death follows 24 turbulent hours in the life of Milo (Zlatko Buric), an aging drug baron struggling to stay on top of the game. Don't be fooled by the relatively hopeful start: this soon lives down to the savagery of director Nicolas Winding Refn's previous chapters. What remains impressive is the focus on character as well as carnage.
Like the other Pushers, this works as a stand-alone story, although franchise followers will recognise Milo from the 1996 original. A decade on, we find him in rehab for his heroin habit. But he hasn’t given up dealing, despite the younger upstarts trying to take his turf. The day of daughter Milena’s (Marinela Dekic) 25th birthday banquet, Milo receives a shipment of Ecstasy pills. Or at least, that’s what they’re supposed to be...
From there, this becomes a tale of revenge, meted out so messily that viewers may feel as sick as one of Milo's food-poisoned flunkies. Look away and you'll still be assaulted by a nerve-scraping soundtrack.
"HAS DARK LAUGHS"
Tough stuff, but you have to give Refn credit: he's one of those rare filmmakers who's fascinated by crime by doesn't glamourise it, painting over gangster clichés with a thick coat of scuzzy realism. The moral message may be simple - live by the sword, die by the sword - but redemption's never easy. As grim as all this sounds, Pusher 3 still has dark laughs, plus a central turn from Buric that embraces the character's flawed humanity with riveting aplomb.
In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles