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Pusher 3

Definitely a step up from the second installment, Pusher III still can't top the original.


Now it's Milo's (Zlatko Buric) turn, the big bad drug dealer from the original Pusher. It begins with him going to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. He says he wants to get clean so he can have a better relationship with his daughter, Milena (Marinela Dekic). In the next scene, Milo goes back to scoring drugs but he's also planning Milena's birthday party. As the big night nears, Milo finds out that his latest score was ecstasy, not heroin, but sorting that out doesn't seem so much of a priority to him. Milo gets busy cooking for his family gathering while his underlings try to sort out the X/dope mess. Milena's got her own interests, too, and she's not afraid of her badass father. The twist of the family story is a nice change-up for the Pusher series, but it still delves into the violent world of drugs and qualifies as a worthy entry to the franchise.


Buric plays a much older Milo here than he did in the first Pusher. With a deep, sorry mumble, he's going through the motions of older age. He gets exasperated with his crew for pestering him while he's trying to attend to his family, and he seems like a normal dad in that way. Family fights are the same normal blow ups with quick forgiveness that happen at any Thanksgiving day gathering. As the night wears on, Buric shows Milo's growing intensity. His silent brooding means he is evaluating his distractions but really remains calm in even the worst of drug mishaps. It's way cooler than the panicked street hoods of the first two Pushers. Now you can watch a real pro at work. As Milena, Dekick doesn't have too much personality. Is she spoiled? We get hints of that. Is she just controlling? Probably, and with good reason, living in that family. The other crew members are just generic criminals.


Focusing on the family and Milo's attempted recovery from addiction is a good twist. All the street dealing was getting old, especially in Pusher II. This seems like a more adult Pusher, dealing with real issues everyone has in some way--work, family, etc. It's just most people aren't thugs. Like a My Big Fat European Pusher, this third one creates more excitement around the party preparations than the crime world. Still, the movie is a Pusher, so you're waiting for the crime story to pop back in. The violence is plenty brutal but it's torture, not action. There's no suspense because this is Milo, the man in charge. It really makes one wish they'd just combined all three perspectives into one massive expose, rather than dragging it out through three films.

Bottom Line rated this film 2 stars.