Complex Action Flick and Examination of Violence and Corruption in Brazil.,
This review is from: Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (DVD)
"Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within" is the final film in Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha's trilogy about urban violence. It revisits some of the characters from "Elite Squad" (2007). Lt. Colonel Beto Nascimento (Wagner Moura) is a 20-year veteran of Rio de Janeiro's military police force BOPE. He is blamed for a bloodbath at the Bangu 1 maximum security prison, when one of his officers kills an inmate who is holding a famous left-wing intellectual hostage. Diogo Praga (Irandhir Santos) is Nascimento's personal and professional nemesis, a crusader against BOPE and now the husband of Nascimento's ex-wife Rosane (Maria Ribeiro). When Nascimento is promoted to Undersecretary of Intelligence, he vows to make BOPE into a war machine against the drug trade.
The film follows Nascimento's four-year transformation by the politics and realities of power. He is a man deeply committed to stamping out the violent drug trade and rampant corruption in Rio. He is obsessively dedicated and confident in his abilities and methods. But even the best-laid plans go awry, as Nascimento becomes the victim of the law of unintended consequences, and, at least for the non-Brazilian viewer, the film takes a few unexpected turns. On one level, "Elite Squad 2" is an action movie with a stoic, courageous hero and all-too-real gun battles in Rio's favellas. On another, it is an exploration of the complex power dynamic between the city's police, politicians, and criminals. It is ideological, but the complexities of Nascimento's character and his problem are engrossing.
The DVD (New Video 2012): The only bonus feature is a "Making Of Featurette" (56 min) that is too long but features director José Padilha's explanation of how his three films about violence relate to one another, the actors commenting on their characters, and behind-the-scenes information about making the film. The film is in Portuguese with English subtitles, as is the bonus feature. Subtitles cannot be turned off.