Elite Squad: The Enemy Within Review

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Thirteen years on from his first outing, Lt. Colonel Nascimento (Moura) is back to take the fight corrupt coppers within Rio's police department. Cue several shades of bloody violence as Nascimento's BOPE squad takes on deadly gangs of paramilitaries.


Whereas the original Elite Squad had Lt. Colonel Nascimento (Wagner Moura) declaring war on Rio’s drug cartels, this time it’s dirty cops who are targeted. After a botched stand-off between rioting prisoners and Nascimento’s BOPA squad, Nascimento is kicked upstairs to become under-secretary of intelligence. This leaves room for the rabid Colonel Fabio (Milhem Cortaz) to form his own criminal militia within the force. Director José Padilha comfortably handles the action: gun battles are breathless and harrowing — full bore flights of savagery and excitement. And while the open ending leaves way for an inevitable sequel, it’s a thrilling, more cohesive piece than its predecessor.

A marked improvement on the first film, it's easy to see why this was such a smash in Brazil. Breathless, brutal and thrilling, it's a gut punch of an action movie.