Genre: Drama • Action • Thriller
Director: José Padilha
Starring: Wagner Moura, Irandhir Santos, André Ramiro, Milhem Cortaz
Duration: 115 min.
When a BOPE mission to stop a jail riot ends in violence, Nascimento finds his job on the line--and BOPE accused of a massacre by human rights activists. But a public fed up with the violence and gangs that plague Rio loves it, and Nascimento finds himself embraced as a hero who gets results. With elections around the corner, he's promoted to Sub-Secretary of Intelligence. In his powerful new post, Nascimento strengthens BOPE and brings the drug gangs that run the slum to their knees-- only to come to the sobering realization that by doing so, he's only made things easier for the corrupt cops and dirty politicians who are truly running the game...
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is a film directed by José Padilha, the sequel to his 2007 film Elite Squad. Released in Brazil in October of 2010, it has since become the most successful film of all time at the Brazilian box-office. It has also been selected as Brazil's official submission to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
Picking up thirteen years after the events in Elite Squad, the story is once again narrated by Wagner Moura reprising his role of Nascimento who is now a Lt. Colonel and commander of BOPE. The film begins with a brazen and bloody operation that successfully quells a prison riot, but which results in massive political fallout for Nascimento and his protege André Matias (André Ramiro) when they are accused of human rights violations.
More thrilling, better written, and vastly more intelligent than the original, if it were not for the same stylish high octane action sequences, it would be hard to believe that this is from the same director. Padilha shows maturity as a filmmaker here with a brilliantly crafted complex story of staggering scale that encompasses not only the police and drug dealers, but also deftly weaves in covert intelligence gathering, political intrigue, and the mass media. Showing every part of the flawed system and playing out much like a highly condensed two-hour version of The Wire.
This maturity is also seen in the evolution of Nascimento's character who is no longer a one-note militaristic machine but comes across as a real person. Still far from a heroic good guy, but now a sympathetic human being capable of rational thought which makes his ever present voice-over far more bearable this time around. Also the large amount of violence, which is just as copious and unflinchingly brutal as in the first film, feels much more powerful here because it is always meaningful to the story or used for development, rather than simply making holes in things because it looks cool on screen.
With Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, José Padilha has come up with a thrilling blockbuster of a sequel, that is miles ahead of the original in combining the smart and the visceral for what is no doubt one of the best action films of the year. If it doesn't get written off and ignored for being a sequel, I think this stands a good chance of making it to the nine film Academy shortlist.
— Bonjour Tristesse