‘Pusher’ is a stylish, explosive, thriller about a drug dealer in deep trouble

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A drug pusher’s life spins hopelessly out of control.

This 2012 English-language version of “Pusher” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year. It’s a remake of the 1996 original that was written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (“Drive“). Refn’s Danish original was such a huge hit, he added two more films to the series: “With Blood on My Hands: Pusher II” and “I’m the Angel of Death: Pusher III.” Refn directed all three flicks. He happily approved of the UK remake and climbed on board as executive producer. Actor Zlatko Buric starred as Milo in all three of the original trilogy of films.
Here’s the story: Frank (Richard Coyle) is a small time drug dealer in London. He’s handsome, has a gorgeous stripper girlfriend named Flo (Agnes Deyn), and an energetic joke-cracking best friend named Tony (Bronson Webb).

Richard Coyle plays drug dealer Frank in 'Pusher' 2012

“For the first fifteen minutes of the film Frank has to be a desirable guy,” said director Luis Prieto, “where being in his business can be glamorous and fun. He goes to parties, sells drugs and has a good time.”
Then things veer horribly out of control. A deal goes bad and leaves Frank in debt to creepy, scary crime lord, Milo (Buric). Every direction Frank turns leads him deeper into ever darker scenarios. He barely has a minute to ask himself, ‘How did I get here?’ He’s just got to find a way out of this jam fast.
Coyle, who plays Frank, said, “He’s a man who is trying to stop the car from going over the cliff, as it were.”
Amidst the murder and mayhem, Frank is a well-meaning guy who loves his girlfriend Flo and his best pal Tony. In turn, Flo and Tony are devoted to Frank. But in this world contaminated by drugs and crime, there’s too much secrecy and it’s not safe to trust anybody anymore.

'Pusher' 2012 official trailer

Flo begins to doubt that Frank can be the man she needs but she doesn’t want to leave him. Who among us hasn’t stayed in a relationship too long—hoping things will change, so sure of a partner’s potential? Tony is like the little brother that Frank never had, they’re tight—until the inevitable paranoia seeps in. Frank quickly tranforms into a man he never meant to be.
This remake is as dark and brooding as the original and it’s a race-against-the-clock thriller that does not disappoint.
Rated R. 89 minutes. Now available on demand through Time Warner cable. Opens in NYC theaters Friday, October 26, 2012.