Elite Squad 2 - The Enemy Within (Tropa de Elite: O Inimigo Agora e Outro)
Returns to Rio's criminal world with pace, plot and violent set pieces
Returning to the favela killing fields of his reactionary 2008 thriller, the schizophrenically talented writer/director Jose Padilha (Bus 174, Garapa) resurrects Captain Nascimento, but this time the right wing, law and order sympathies are being torched quicker than a drug dealer’s ghetto hide out.
The Enemy Within unsurprisingly finds Nascimento (Wagner Moura, almost a parody of cynicism) going after dirty cops and government officials while explaining in great wordy detail the labyrinthine connections between Rio’s criminal and law enforcement organisations. Throw in some topical (to Latin American audiences) plotlines and some serious kick ass violent set pieces and you have Brazil’s biggest box office hit ever.
Where the wordy laborious script drains the life out of what is essentially a Lumet-ian thriller with Nascimento crossing the yard to stand next to the likes of Serpico and Daniel Ciello (Prince of the City), Padilha as director more than compensates with a breathless feel for pace and plot with great help from editor Daniel Rezende.
Whether The Enemy Within is Padilha’s riposte to left wing critics or just a cynical, calculated attempt to create some kind of cinematic future for Nascimento and his (good) men barely seems to matter when all hell finally breaks loose in downtown Rio.
Selected release from Fri 12 Aug.