LA Film Festival 2011 Movie Review: ELITE SQUAD 2: THE ENEMY WITHIN
I am moving to Brazil. That’s it. There is nothing you can do to stop me. However, I am not going there for the sunny beaches and well-tanned ladies. No, I am going so that I can learn Portuguese so that I can enjoy awesome movies like ELITE SQUAD 2: THE ENEMY WITHIN that are apparently being made there.
I had an opportunity to watch Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival and it just simply blew me away.
Dubbed to be “the most successful movie in Brazilian history,” the movie follows Lt. Colonel Nascimento (played by Wagner Moura), the head of an elite squad of police officers, as he struggles to navigate the treacherous maze of politics, money, drugs and money. All of this is set with the favelas of Rio De Janeiros in the background.
It is a sequel to Elite Squad for which the director José Padilha won a Golden Bear at Berlin International Film Festival. Since I am an action movie fan, I was curious to see this one, especially since I had never watched a brazilian movie in my life (yes, I know, I must watch City of God).
At best, I was expecting to see a foreign action movie trying to mimick a Hollywood action movie. Instead, I got an action packed thrill ride that delivered fresh performances and compelling storylines which make Hollywood Blockbusters look like B-Movies. I cannot fully describe how blown away I was by the masterful job that is Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within. The movie is a glorious mix between political intrigue,crime drama and action flick that result in a Brazilian feature version of The Wire.
Kudos goes to Wagner Moura for delivering a riveting performance as the stoic but intense Lt. Colonel Nascimento. He reminds me of…actually no one because I don’t think that he has an equivalent in the US. He has the ability to display outrage and pain in one glance like it’s nobody’s business. I could watch him in movies all day. This man can act. Period.
I have no idea if and when Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within is going to be released in theaters in the US, but if it is, you cannot miss it. It is by far one of the best action movies I have seen all year and I hope to see more of those since I plan to move to Brazil.
Like any day now.
You can watch the trailer for the movie below.