10 Oct 2013: Pusher III: I’m the Angel of Death (DVD, 2005, Nicolas Winding Refn)
By far the dullest of the trilogy, probably by design, but like the second, its slight distinctions from the norm don’t elevate it any further toward human enrichment or entertainment. The visual panache that enlivened the first two films has vanished for a rudimentary near-home-video approach to cinematography, matched thematically by lackluster dramaturgy. None of this is constructed to suggest or signify much beyond itself, a sort of blackly amusing story about food poisoning, narcotic-addiction recidivism and human slaughter that plays out like practice runs for a sketch comedy TV show. The film is clearly set up for the viewer to await the inevitable and proverbial shoe to drop, but since the shoe barely gets off the ground in the first place, and it’s shoddily and hastily manufactured as it is (the relatively independent Refn and his American Sundance brethren the modern-day movie-business equivalents of the subsidiary domestic handicraft, i.e. sweatshop, industry), the dropping of the shoe occurs without impact or interest.