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Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

February 26, 2012

This movie came out of nowhere and punched me in the gut. I love getting punched in the gut by a movie. You don’t see and it coming and BAM the movie is great. I totally understand why it is the largest grossing film in South American history.

People are comparing this movie to Casino and City of God. The narration is similar to Casino and the subject matter does involve the slums of Brazil. However, this is not a movie about gangsters and drug lords.

This is a bleak film about the politics behind the elite squad of cops who patrol the drug trade in Brazil. The slums are used as a tool for politicians, legislators and colonels to fill their pockets and advance in politics.

I loved how inconsequential the drug dealers are in this film. They are chess pieces that can be taken at will. In other movies you are lead to believe that they are this all-powerful force that is above the law. However, when the political machine gets rolling they are killed at will.

Wagner Moura is fantastic as Lt. Colonel Nascimento. He is focused on taking out of the trash of Brazil. Nascimento is damn good at his job and is one of the clean cops on the police force. He reluctance to engage in the political/corrupt aspect of the government keeps him on the outside. However, when he does get messed with he becomes a force to be reckoned with.

If you are in the mood to expand your international film knowledge base you should watch Elite Squad. The movie is a pleasant surprise that will not disappoint on action, story and subtitles.

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