EIFF: Movie Review – ELITE SQUAD 2: THE ENEMY WITHIN

Was José Padilha’s smashing action movie, Elite Squad: the Enemy Within, the most important picture ever to have been produced in Brazil a general thirst for truthfulness or gore? Both of them certainly. This fun film, also called the “Elite Squad 2,” brings together a few of its other protagonists, including Nascimento (Wallace Moura), the champion of the first “Elite Squad.” The latest movie seems to be a deliberate attempt to disprove the allegations that its predecessor was fascist with his iron-fisted portrayal of Rio de Janeiro’s drugs-infested favelas.

They are told by the type of Charles Kingsley, Nascimento, whose bold and forceful voice smooths with the picture. “The Enemy Within” sends Nascimento on a temporary moral trip when “Elite Squad” has stuck to his fist firearms in his crime combat ideology and learns how violence sprouts violence second hand, and how fraud by the law is a cancer that may spread and contaminate the whole police force. The new movie’s marketing materials characterize it as “not quite a sequel as a reimagining,” maybe because the emphasis has been changed from drug trafficking to injustice.

The 4-year-old tale began with Nascimento recalling toughly self-aggravatingly of his time as commander of the Special Criminal Investigations Battalion of Rio de Janeiro, ending with a failed raid on a jail of three important drug gangs. In this fiasco a renowned drug boss was murdered by his associates in talks to free the robbers. Fraga (Irandhir Silva), a fervent fighter for human rights, is a mediator and is also the spouse of previous lover Rosane of Nascimento (Maria).

While Nascimento is expelled from the unit, he becomes an instant popular hero, elevated to the Security Minister. He launches war on city narcotics traders from that perch, pursuing them with blinded vehicles, aircraft and a 390-man army. “War is therapy for folks like me,” he crows. It’s occupied with my thoughts.”

The advertising seems to be a tremendous success at first. But Nascimento starts to dry up the policemen’s earnings from the traffickers by dissolving the drugs trade. They develop an omnipresent and harsh extortion system for those living in the slums, which produces much more money and engages influential people. Nascimento claims frankly, “Businesses are involved in the elections in Brazil.” The violence intensifies and Nascimento has become a suspect after the death of a buddy from the brigade of military operation.

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His more nuancious position corresponds to his change with his younger brother, who is hesitant to compete in a judo competition for the first time. Early in the film Nascimento proclaims the love of battling and peace could only be brought by those battle. After the kid gets hit by a gunshot, he subsequently changes his tunes. This is not to suggest that he’s become a pacifist—just a fighter who is sadder, smarter and driven.

In “The Enemy Within” his depictions of what his lifelong learning might characterize frequent outbursts of aggression are balanced. At one point, it calls “mafias” the battalions formed by the crooked cops, and sometimes the film proposes “The Godfather.” The slaughter is not horribly exaggerated, albeit explicit and common. However, the film has no same depth of characters with Mr. Moura’s Nascimento. This is the whole performance emotionally; the rest are clichés.

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