Tropa de Elite 2 – O Inimigo Agora É Outro [Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within] (2010)

Tropa de Elite 2 – O Inimigo Agora É Outro
Director: José Padilha
Writer: José Padilha, Bráulio Mantovani
Sequel to: Tropa de Elite
Cast: Wagner Moura, Irandhir Santos, André Ramiro, Milhem Cortaz, Maria Ribeiro, Seu Jorge
Part of: Viennale

Nascimento (Wagner Moura) has given up his thoughts about retiring from the elite squad BOPE, though he does feel pressure from the civil rights movement, spearheaded by Diogo Fraga (Irandhir Santos). When a prison riot escalates in the worst possible way, Fraga calls for Nascimento’s removal from the force but instead Nascimento is promoted and starts working for the Ministry of Defence. But that doesn’t keep him from continuing his war against everything that threatens Brazil – it only takes it to the next level.

Somehow this movie doesn’t work as well as the first one. It still has very smart writing and the reduction of violence and torture should work to its advantage. But the character of Nascimento suffered a blow. And without his insane genius, the movie just isn’t in the same league.

My main problem was that I felt like Padilha made the movie to counter the critics of the first film and not because he actually felt like there was a need for a sequel. So he made the movie more overtly and explicitly against the system and he made Nascimento less of a psychopath (at least only less so, he didn’t actually heal him from the psychopathy).

I don’t think that the old Nascimento was a good guy, but he was a perfect character. And diluting him just doesn’t really fly. Interestingly enough, Fraga is an interesting balance for the old Nascimento. But since Nascimento is not the old Nascimento anymore, but is kind of pushed into the role of the good guy, that balance falls apart for the second film.

Nevertheless the film is tense and well-paced and has a very intelligent script that has a lot to say. It is a very good film – with a pretty much perfect soundtrack – I just don’t get why everybody seems to think that it’s better than Tropa de Elite.

Summarising: It’s tense and it certainly shows Brazilian reality, it just isn’t as great as the first one.

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