For the next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – British Thrillers, here’s a review from Troy of The Review Club of the British Thriller – Pusher (2012)
Thanks again to Emma from Emmakwall.com for choosing this month’s genre
Next month’s Genre, chosen by Justine of Justine’s movie blog is Coming of Age movies. To participate, send me your review to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22nd Feb. Thanks to Justine for a great choice.
Let’s see what Troy thought of this movie…
Like some acidic trip, this British crime thriller pulsates with music and frenzied shots at times, though I’m guessing like the aftermath of an acidic adventure, the film isn’t as exciting as you once think and has some rather slow moments interspersed within.
An English remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 movie of the same name, this follows dealer Frank (Richard Coyle) over the course of seven days. After a deal gets botched, Frank is left with a severe amount of money to raise for a dangerous underground drugs lord called Milo (Zlatko Buric).
The short time line of the story is great and kind of resembles the whizzing structure of ‘Run Lola Run’ in keeping narrative down to a refined order. Starting on Monday and ending on Sunday manages to make the film feel more real as the pressure mounts against Frank. For a British thriller it works, the grimy aspects of London are truly felt and small shops and businesses aren’t glamourised which is nice, it’s beneficial for this truer and shadier side of the city to be lit up.
The tension is pretty thick at times, almost leaving you clutching at whatever’s nearby in the suspense of it all. Though not the whole film is, it can feel chugging at times which is odd considering the drug injected matter of the story. One sequence in particular is very neat at building the tension and laying on the feel of a thriller. Frank and his hidey hole is all I shall say but the near climax of the film and this location is very tense to say the least.
It’s a film with incredible music, some that you could easily connect to the electronic style of Refn and ‘Drive’. The film also has the brutality alongside it that Refn likes but it also works for the grittier British side of proceedings. The music orchestrated by Orbital is apt and ties in with the nightlife scene of Frank and Flo and it also pumps up the film as much as it can.
The way certain shots are delivered is nifty, the frame shakes or wobbles, shots are zoomed in or car taillights blur and streak as they move in the night. These stylistic choices make the film more than just a bland thriller and mirror the adrenaline of Frank’s predicament and the core theme of drugs and their crazy effect.
Frank is a dodgy but likable anti-hero sort of guy and the ending of the film is a cool way to finish things, which leaves you on side of Flo as she does what all of us probably would have done. Tony is a damn annoying character and luckily he doesn’t grate the film too much after getting side-lined early on, Milo is dark and deathly and played by the actor from the original he brings a believable sense of trouble.
Richard Coyle brings worry and yet power to his lead role as he races against the clock. You cannot help but feel for him as it isn’t his fault the mess he’s landed slap bang in the middle of. Agyness Dean is the human foil to Frank’s descending way of crime and she plays the loyal to-be girlfriend well with that undercurrent of wanting a normal life and boyfriend. As mentioned Buric returns from the original and the sequels for this remake and he is a menacing figure to put it lightly. It’s also nice to see one of my favourite telly actors appear briefly in this film and that’s Mr. Neil Maskell.
An okay film at a push, but it’s not overwhelmingly great and it doesn’t hype you up as much as it seems the original does. Gritty and tense in places but lacking a stimulating drive that Refn could obviously muster up.
Thanks again to Troy for this review