Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (18)

Starring: Wagner Moura, Caio Junqueira, André Ramiro
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The Independent Culture

A sequel to the 2008 Brazilian cop thriller, this finds Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura), commander-in-chief of Rio's BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion) kicked upstairs to a desk job after a prison siege ends in bloodshed.

In his absence the mean streets get meaner, controlled no longer by drug gangs but a private militia of trimming politicians, TV demagogues and bent cops. Nascimento's problems are complicated by the fact that his ex-wife is married to his nemesis, Fraga (Irandhir Santos), a liberal academic, and his 13-year-old son is becoming estranged from him. Scene by scene this study of a corrupt society is fast-paced and involving; it also highlights the topical malaise of phone-hacking. Examined any more closely, it's just a standard conspiracy yarn – Magnum Force to the first film's Dirty Harry – bolted to a pessimistic view of law and order in modern-day Rio.