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aka WITH BLOOD ON MY HANDS: PUSHER 2
USA: Magnolia Films
UK: Vertigo Films
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Leif Syvester, Anne Sorensen, Oyvind Hagen-Traberg, Kurt Nielsen, Dan Dommer, Karsten Schroder, Maria Erwolter, Zlatko Buric, Maya Ababadjani, Maria Mendoza, Aino Junka, Michael Zile, Svend Erik Eskeland Larsen, Jean Pierre Peuleve
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Countries: Denmark / UK
Language: Danish (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 96 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains very strong sex and language, strong violence and drug use
USA Release Date: 18 August 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 16 September 2005
USA DVD Release Date: tbc (The Pusher Trilogy)
UK DVD Release Date: 12 June 2006 (The Pusher Trilogy)
Writer and director Nicolas Winding Refn turned down a place at the prestigious National Danish Film School in order to make his 1996 feature film debut, PUSHER. This violent, edgy, yet moving cult classic established Refn as an uncompromising filmmaker of great talent and depth. Following his next two films, BLEEDER (1999), and FEAR X (2003), Refn returned to the Copenhagen underworld in 2004 with PUSHER II: WITH BLOOD ON MY HANDS, while 2005 saw the release of the 3rd instalment, PUSHER III: I'M THE ANGEL OF DEATH. All three PUSHER films display Refn effortlessly blending moody atmospherics and frenetic action, portraying his characters with a depth and confidence far belying his years. Though each film can be appreciated independently of the other three, Refn subtly interweaves these three tales so that a minor character in one film moves to the fore to become the central character of the next. The resulting trilogy stands as a masterful reinvention of international crime cinema, as poignantly human as it is brutally and viscerally realized.
PUSHER II tells the story of Tonny (Mads Mikkelsen), a crook from the Copenhagen underworld whose previous run in with a baseball bat has left his mind addled and unreliable. Having just been released from prison, Tonny tries to bring order to his life and gain the respect of his father, Smeden aka the Duke, a notorious gangster who appears to have nothing but contempt for his son.
Tonny soon learns that nothing in this new life comes easy. Trying to repay a debt held over from prison, he makes misstep after misstep, running further afoul of the Duke. On top of it all, Tonny must contribute to the upbringing of a baby boy which may or may not be his own. Battling the scorn of all around him as well as his own drug-fuelled delirium, Tonny must forge a path toward some form of redemption, or perish in the attempt.