Pusher II: Sometimes One Just Needs To Run Away

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The second film in the Pusher series follows Tonny, played by Mads Mikkelsen, as he gets out of prison and tries to return to his former life of crime.

Mikkelsen is magnificent here as always, as we see his Tonny grow over the course of the film, and feel  the claustrophobic metaphorical walls of Tonny’s life closing in around him trapping him into a cycle of criminality and abuse. Honestly, the final sequence of the film when Tonny finally turns on his gangster father, played by Leif Sylvester, and runs away with his baby is incredibly powerful and a lot of the sequence is incredibly reminiscent of Refn’s later film Drive.

I enjoyed the return to the Danish underworld and thought there was still a lot here to be mined and explored. I liked the juxtaposition of having Tonny not fit into this world at all, though not through a lack of wanting to. Though in many ways the character is morally repugnant Mikkelsen plays him with such a sense of weary charm and desperation that you can’t help but like him. The supporting cast all have moments to shine here, but this is very much Mikkelsen’s film.

Overall, an incredibly strong film.

Pros.

Mikkelsen

The world

The ending

The emotion and the stakes

Cons.

It feels a little rushed at times

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