Nicolas Winding Refn earned critical acclaim and a cult following with Drive (2011), so it’s no surprise that for many Only God Forgives (2013) – which reunites the director with his former leading man Ryan Gosling – is one of the most anticipated films of 2013. Premiering at Cannes earlier this year to divisive reviews, the hype has been tempered somewhat ahead of its UK release this week, and upon watching Refn’s ultra-arthouse thriller it’s clear that many of those critiques were well-founded.
Drugs and gangster films are becoming more and more commonplace in British cinema. The latest is Pusher (2012) – Luis Prieto’s British remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 cult hit of the same name – and thankfully it is one of the better drug-fuelled thrillers to be released in recent times. Frank (Richard Coyle) makes a steady amount of money from his life as a drug dealer. When he is approached by a former prison acquaintance for what could be his biggest deal yet, Frank is convinced it’s a sure thing.
Read the rest of this review at CineVue here.