Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ryan Watches A Motion Picture #70: Pusher III: I'm The Angel of Death (2005)

The final film in the Pusher trilogy. This time we focus on Milo, the Copenhagen drug lord from the first two films. Milo, a Croatian immigrant, was seen up until now only as a looming power - friendly at first, fond of cooking and prone to culinary disasters, and vicious when crossed. By Pusher III, he is older, addicted to what he pushes, and is losing dealing ground to a new generation of would-be drug runners.

In Pusher III we get the greatest sense of desperation and waste. The amount of care you might find you have for Milo is surprising. You really want his addicts anonymous meetings to go well for him. You really want his daughter to appreciate him. You really want him to work himself out, and, most surprisingly, you really want him to kill his enemies. All this for a man that does some awful things, and makes his living on the suffering of others. That takes some pretty tactful filmmaking.

Issues of race and nationality are raised in this film much more than in the previous two films. We're given a host of immigrants trying to carve a tenuous life in the underworld of Copenhagen. Unfortunately for Milo, that means his turf. The new generation of pushers are all racially divided expats, the most threatening being a young Arab, and a rival Serbian group that attempts a passive aggressive (for the most part) takeover in a moment of weakness. Milo, being Croatian, doesn't handle this well. Or perhaps he does.

So: Same great character, dialogue, and cinematography. A great finish to a great trilogy.

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