Last year, Drive was my favorite film. Naturally, Hollywood decided to remake the 1996 Danish flick that put director Nicolas Winding Refn on the map: Pusher. Fast-paced, colorful and loud, this new Pusher is an adequately entertaining crime thriller, but also one that is largely forgettable.
The new Pusher is directed by Luis Prieto, who has had mild success in Italy but otherwise is an unknown, which means that the movie is exactly what you'd expect it to be: an unnecessary remake directed by an unknown director.
Thanks for nothing.
In fairness, Pusher's only true weakness is that the story - even when the original released in 1996 - is unoriginal. Prieto's style looks like a copy of Refn's, but it's a serviceable copy. Ultimately, it's the story that fails to set Pusher apart from other films that come before it.
Richard Coyle stars as Frank, a mid-level drug dealer who sets up a big drug deal. When he's betrayed by his drug mule, however, he finds himself in a huge hole with his partner, who gives him a day to pay 35,000 pounds. Things get worse from there. It's your typical criminal-gets-in-over-his-head-has-to-fight-his-way-out story.
On the positive side, the ending is different than expected (well, unless you've seen the original, which you probably haven't), and Coyle turns in a fine performance.
There's nothing inherently wrong with Pusher, but there's nothing inherently great about it, either. In other words, it's no Drive.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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