Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
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The pace is quick, the violence is rough, and the visual style is documentary as Padilha hammers home his point: Someone is forever in the pocket of someone else as The System constantly adapts to protect itself.
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is pure pedagogic bliss.
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.
When this "Enemy Within" settles into key action sequences, such as a stunning nighttime ambush or a daytime battle against Fabio, it becomes wildly entertaining.
Both responding to and rebutting critics who dubbed its predecessor fascist, José Padilha's superior sequel to 2007's "Elite Squad" doubles down on the kill-'em-all rhetoric while placing its trigger-happy heroes in a larger context.
Padilha channeled national frustrations into zeitgeist entertainment. The follow-up, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, has less success than the first installment in achieving that aim, but still keeps the snazzy combination of spectacle and polemics in check.
The A.V. Club
Padilha's film has a witheringly low opinion of most people - the gangs are no better than animals, the regular police are gleefully corrupt, the liberal intellectuals are sanctimonious fools, and the politicians are only interested in protecting themselves.
The New York Times
The carnage, although explicit and frequent, is not grotesquely overdone. But except for Mr. Moura's Nascimento, the movie doesn't have the same richness of characters. Psychologically he is the whole show; the rest are stereotypes.
Will test the ideological mettle of law-and-order conservatives and lefty peaceniks alike.
New York Daily News
The movie's intensity is given crucial depth via Moura's somber and unshowy performance.
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