After loving Refn's first Pusher film, I was eager to continue. Pusher II did not disappoint, and if I had to make the hard choice, is probably the strongest film in the trilogy.
Mads Mikkelsen gets his chance to shine. I had first encountered him in that awful Clash of the Titans remake with Avatar-face McSoldierstein, and was greatly afraid that he sucked. I knew I was soon to see Mads in the unbeknownst-to-me-amazing Valhalla Rising, and feared the worst. So crappy move down, awesome movie up, I wondered what Pusher II would be like with him at centre stage. The answer to that is: Mads Mikkelsen is now an actor I will follow. I am enamoured by his screen presence and hope for some great films to come.
Pusher II is much like the first film in terms of its visual sense, pacing, and dialogue, but is certainly tighter in all fields. The budget is higher, the scope larger, the characters more complex. As with each film save the first, you really can't help but invest affection in the gangster characters. They are by no means nice people, but they are more human than one would expect, and they are beset by environments of poverty, violence, and abusive family dynamics, and every second is emotionally riveting.
So: If you see any of the Pusher films, see this one.