Monday, March 20, 2017

Film Review: 'Pusher 3: I'm the Angel of Death' (2005)

Pusher 3: I'm the Angel of Death (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a great conclusion to the series."

Milo (Zlatko Burić), an aging Serbian drug lord, struggles to cope with his addiction and a set of bad deals during his daughter's 25th birthday...

Like the film before it, Pusher 3: I'm the Angel of Death follows a character from the first film—Milo. Milo has a busy day ahead of him. He has to cook for 50 people for his bratty daughter's birthday party; he has to sell ecstasy, which is not his specialty, due to a botched deal; and he is really trying to stop his self-destructive addiction. That's basically the film's entire plot. Milo runs from place-to-place, dealing with a huge list of issues. It is simple but effective. There are moments where it will make you chuckle, moments where it will make you squirm, and moments where it'll keep you at the edge of your seat. But, like the first film, the simplicity of the plot often leaves some dull moments in the film. It doesn't quite match the pace and intensity of With Blood on My Hands. It leads to a very gruesome climax and a strong ending, though.

Although the story is more like the second film, this film shares many of the same flaws with the first film. There are some moments where the pacing is dreadfully slow for no reason. It feels like it could have been fine-tuned, which would have made it more efficient and effective. However, I'm not talking about the entire film. Most of the film moves at a consistent pace thanks to its tension. The focus on character is also superb, too. Milo is a very interesting character. Speaking of characters, this might be a bit of a nitpick, but this is the first film in the series where I actually didn't like a character—Milo's daughter. I thought that was odd. You see, most of the characters in these films are bad, but you can sympathize with them. Milo, Frank, and especially Tonny come off as human. Milo's daughter... she's just completely unlikable, which ultimately taints the film. However, I suppose 'unlikable' is a human trait, too.

Zlatko Burić is excellent as the leading man. He is charismatic, creating a likable character out of a villain. The supporting cast is also great. There are a lot of familiar faces in this film, so it's an excellent send-off for the series. The film was shot very well. This is before Refn took a very artsy turn with his movies. The music was great, too. The film was written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Refn creates a very tense and engaging character-focused crime drama. It has some flaws, such as the inconsistent pacing, but it ultimately works very well thanks to the plot, the characters, and the performances.

Overall, Pusher 3: I'm the Angel of Death is a great film. It's a dark and tense character-driven film. I don't really have many complaints for it. I have a nitpick here and there, but it's otherwise a great film. It's not the best movie in the series, I'd give that title to Pusher 2, but it is a great conclusion to the series. If you're a fan of the genre, don't miss this one.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, nudity.

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