Rewatched these films and am still in awe of their absolute grittiness and realism. This is the gangster film stripped bare of all operatic beauty and given a punkish edge. Think Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets meets John Cassavetes with themes from Trainspotting thrown in for good measure and this is what you'll get. It gives a look into the lives of petty low level drug dealers on the streets of Copenhagen. The violence the the trilogy comes both subtly and viciously.Each film of the Pusher trilogy is distinct from the next. At the same time a minor character from one film (for example Mads Mikkelsen's Tonny from Pusher) becomes the central character in Pusher 2.Refn ended up getting $1 million in debt and the only way he could get out was to crank out a couple more films. Those two films ended up being Pusher 2 & 3.
Pusher 2 is one of those sequels that outshines the original. Mads Mikkelsen, who ended up playing Le Chifre, the main villian in Casino Royale, does a turn as a low level gangster named Tonny. I've seen few films that show as flawed of a main character as Tonny. Pusher 2 is certainly the most optimistic of the three.
Pusher 3, while not as brilliant as Pt. 2 is still very good. It follows Milo, the boss of the main character of the first Pusher film and has an ending as graphic and intense as anything out there.
While the bookend films are not as good as Pusher 2, the tapestry that is woven by all three make this trilogy incredibly strong. If you are a fan of Scorsese or just gritty and raw films in general then this trilogy is an absolute MUST see.
Refn's new film Bronson preimiered at Sundance this year to rave reviews. It's been called "A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century". The trailer is pretty amazing.