Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
|Elite Squad: The Enemy Within|
|Directed by||José Padilha|
|Produced by||Marcos Prado|
|Written by||José Padilha
|Music by||Pedro Bromfman|
|Editing by||Daniel Rezende|
|Distributed by||Zazen Produções
|Running time||116 minutes|
|Budget||R$ 16 million
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (Portuguese: Tropa de Elite 2 – O Inimigo Agora é Outro; Lit: Elite Troop 2: It's Another Enemy Now; also known as Elite Squad 2) is a 2010 Brazilian crime film directed, produced and co-written by José Padilha, starring Wagner Moura. It is a sequel of the 2007 film Elite Squad. The film is a continuation of the semi-fictional account of the BOPE (Portuguese: Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais), the Special Police Operations Squad of the Rio de Janeiro Military Police, analogous of the American SWAT, with a focus on the relationship between law enforcement and politics. The film was released in Brazil on October 8, 2010.
Having enjoyed public and critical acclaim, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is the all-time largest box office ticket seller and highest-grossing film in Brazil, ahead of Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands and Avatar, respectively. The film was selected as the Brazilian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within was released in the United States by Variance Films on November 11, 2011.
13 years after the events of the first movie, Roberto Nascimento (Wagner Moura) is shown leaving a hospital, and a man reports this to his radio chatter. As he drives away from the scene, a car corners him and several gunmen exit and start to shoot him.
4 years prior, Nascimento is shown, now a Lieutenant Colonel in BOPE, arrives at the Bangu Penitentiary Complex to put down a prison riot. After killing his rivals and taking a number of corrupt prison guards hostage (as a part of the deal), gang boss Beirada (Seu Jorge) calls in history teacher and local activist Diogo Fraga (Irandhir Santos) to negotiate. After Fraga convinces Beirada to release the hostages, Nascimento orders a team led by Captain André Matias (André Ramiro) to intervene, and Matias shoots Beirada dead when he tries to take Fraga hostage.
Fraga expresses his outrage over the situation to the media. When Nascimento hears that the government will fire him over the controversy, he personally confronts the governor at a restaurant only to be greeted by cheering diners. The governor uses the situation, promoting Nascimento to Undersecretary of Public Safety for Intelligence. But Matias is dismissed from BOPE then reassigned, under the lead of corrupt Lieutenant Colonel Fabio Barbosa (Milhem Cortaz), his old friend. Nascimento promises Matias to settle his situation and goes to his supervisor about this, but Matias goes to a journalist named Clara (said by Nascimento to be the most controversial journalist in Rio) and gives her an interview about disregard of BOPE and the corruption of the governor, almost losing his job. Nascimento confronts Matias about this, and Matias calls him a traitor for taking his position in politics.
Nascimento also faces personal problems as well. His wife Rosane divorced him (due to his inability to balance the job and his family life) and married Fraga, who leveraged his influence to become a deputy in the State Assembly. Fraga keeps Nascimento away from his son Rafael, who has become scared of his father's line of work.
Nascimento uses his position to help BOPE more than he could ever do before, and increases BOPE to a powerful military police. Previously, BOPE only had 8 vehicles and 110 policemen. Now using his power as Undersecretary of Public Security, he increases it to 16 tactical teams organized with 390 heavily armed police officers as well as 10 armored trucks and a military helicopter, and starts wiping out the drug dealers from the favelas in complex planned operations.
However, a group of corrupt cops, led by then Major Rocha (Sandro Rocha), learn that the favela dwellers also make money by other means including illegal TV and internet connections. Rocha's group form a militia and monopolize the favela's black market, setting up an extremely profitable protection and extortion racket that also has the favor of local politicians wanting to keep drug dealers out of the favelas.
In a plan to help the governor win re-election, a group of disguised militia raid a hostile district's police station and steal a number of guns. The chief suspects that this could be militia, as they were using references that dealers don't use and they were wearing military boots, but Fabio assures the Secretary that these are the drug dealers, saying that he got this from a "reliable source". Rocha also uses his power to bring Matias back into BOPE, weakening Nascimento's power. Nascimento records over 300 hours of phone calls with dealers, with evidence that the dealers know nothing about the guns, but the Secretary orders him to schedule the attack on the last favela (revealing that the governor planned the raid himself).
Nascimento plans the attack, but he is concerned about the corrupt officers, who usually let the dealers through the station. Matias devises the plan; He and rest of the BOPE team will arrive dressed as patrol officers and replace the corrupt officers in the police station. The next day, BOPE team arrives and attacks the dealers. They try to block their way, but they easily overpower the dealers, forcing them back. Dealers try to run across the station, expecting corrupt officers to let them pass, but Matias and the rest of the team arrive outside and wipe the remaining dealers. Just then, Fabio, Rocha and rest of the men arrive as backup, and the main dealer escapes through the alleyways, but Matias manages to subdue him. Matias tortures him for the information, but the dealer keeps telling that they didn't steal the guns.
Rocha, along with Fabio, arrives and immediately shoots the dealer in the chest, killing him. Matias orders the rest of the BOPE soldiers to carry away the dealer's body, and then he confronts Rocha. Matias tells Rocha that he could manage to get the information, as doubts about the guns being at the dealer's favelas, and orders Rocha and Fabio to give him the source's name by the rest of the day. He storms off in anger, but Rocha shoots him in the back, murdering Matias. Fabio confronts Rocha about this, but Rocha orders his units to give them a 15-minute window, then reporting his death, and also assuring that he wasn't with Matias when he was killed, placing a detailed story that two oncoming bullets killed him.
Nascimento confronts Fabio at Matias' funeral, promising to find Matias' murderer. Concerned, Nascimento uses his power to listen to calls from Fraga's phone, because of Fraga's influence in the politics. Meanwhile, Clara, the journalist, tries to make a story, and goes into one of Rocha's favelas to make a story about corrupt officers. She goes to an apartment ran by an old lady to give her an interview, unaware that she has been paid by Rocha as an informant, and she stalks them and makes a call to Rocha about this. He arrives with his men, killing the reporter and raping and killing Clara.
Rocha takes Clara's phone and burns it, but not before hearing Fraga on the phone, realizing that she has been talking to Fraga, who is shocked by this events. Nascimento also hears this and records the data, taking it with him. Just after he leaves, the Secretary orders Fraga's phone to be wired, but he already realizes that Nascimento ordered this. Meanwhile, Nascimento desperately tries to call Rosane, and he waits at her apartment. Fraga, Rafael and Rosane arrive, and Nascimento tries to warn them about Rocha's orders, but two guys on a scooter arrive, performing a drive-by on Fraga's car, shooting Rafael. Nascimento shoots one of the men and leaves with the trio, rushing Rafael to the emergency room.
The next night, after the surgery on Rafael (he had been shot in the kidney), he confronts Rosane, telling her to call him if she needs anything. The beginning of the movie is shown with Nascimento leaving the hospital. Just then, Rocha and his men arrive and try to kill Nascimento, but he already had a backup car behind him, with armed BOPE soldiers. He manages to defend himself from Rocha's men, who escape after a failed attack.
Nascimento takes his men and confronts the Secretary, beating him and threatening that he will kill him and the rest of his corrupt men if anything ever happens to his son. The next day, he is called on a trial in Brasilia and he testifies with Fraga for three long hours at the court, also regarding to dismiss BOPE.
In the aftermath, the governor is sentenced to a longtime sentence in prison, the Secretary is placed as the new governor, Fraga is still trying to enroll himself deeper in the politics, and many witnesses are killed so the militia officers can protect themselves. Rocha is also killed on Fabio's orders, with his body dumped into the sea. Nascimento takes the Secretary position and still has control over BOPE, although much bigger now. Nascimento ends his narration with the words: "And who is paying for all this? It must be expensive. Real expensive. That is the system, it's tough."
In the end, he arrives at the hospital, and embraces with his son, who survived.
- Wagner Moura as Roberto Nascimento, Lieutenant Colonel of the PMERJ and Undersecretary of Rio de Janeiro Public Safety for Intelligence, and the main protagonist.
- Irandhir Santos as Diogo Fraga, a History teacher who becomes a State Representative after the Bangu I (pt) controversy.
- André Ramiro as Captain André Matias.
- Maria Ribeiro as Rosane, ex-wife of Nascimento and now married to Fraga.
- Sandro Rocha (pt) as Captain/Major Rocha, the main antagonist of the film. Rocha had a small role in the first film, being one of the seargants under Fabio's control.
- Milhem Cortaz portrays Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel Fabio Barbosa. Still very corrupt, as a competitor and also as an accomplice of Major Rocha. Still friends with André Mathias, who saved his life thirteen years ago (the first film in the series).
- Tainá Müller plays Clara, a journalist. In the film, Mathias reads her interview on the scrapping of the BOPE, after being expelled from the same battalion because of the events in the rebellion in Bangu I and then assists the Deputy Diogo Fraga in the investigation of the militias.
- Seu Jorge as Beirada, a criminal responsible for the Bangu I uprising.
- André Mattos plays Fortunato, State Representative and host of a tabloid TV show.
- Emilio Neto Orciollo Valmir plays a cop who works in the administrative area.
Casting and characters
The first member to be acknowledged was Wagner Moura, who returns with his character Roberto Nascimento, now promoted from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel. In Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, Nascimento is 40 years old and has a slightly grayer hair. André Ramiro is also back as Captain André Matias (promoted from Officer Cadet); the actor was prepped by professionals from the CATI-SWAT to give orders to the cops on-screen. Musician and actor Seu Jorge (who played Mané Galinha in City of God) was invited by director José Padilha to act as one of the antagonists, Beirada; Maria Ribeiro is also back as Roseane, who is no longer married to Nascimento, but to a left wing Congressman. Tainá Müller, who was not in the first film, plays Clara, representing the media. Sandro Rocha, who had little on-screen time during the first film, has a bigger role now, playing Major Rocha, known as Russo (Russian), boss of the militia.
Between November and December 2009, before recording for the film started, all the actors - except Maria Ribeiro, pregnant at the time - had a training routine, led by Fátima Toledo. Part of the cast also went through a boot camp in Rio, coordinated by Paulo Storani, security adviser, and with the participation of members from BOPE and CATI. André Ramiro said, "They treated us like real cops. No 'I'm-too-important'. I also had to say 'No, sir. Yes, sir'". Wagner Moura had Jiu-Jitsu lessons from fighter Rickson Gracie. The training helped bring a degree of reality to the film; actors had to learn the proper techniques to handle weapons and also action strategies in risk-zones, besides a strong fitness program, laid heavy on those who weren't in the first movie.
Filming and post-production
Filming started on January 25 of 2010, with the participation of eighty real cops as extras. On February 1, recording took place at Morro Dona Marta, in the Botafogo borough, with the use of two helicopters and heavy guns, leading to next-door neighbors thinking it was a real shoot-out. For the scenes happening at the Bangu 1 prison, forty professionals worked during two months constructing a 500m² detention center, based on notations from art director Tiago Marques about the place, since they didn't get clearance to take pictures of the real building. The scenes at the prison were recorded during the four days of the 2010 carnival. One of the film scenes would be shot at the House of Congress in Brasília, but production couldn't get permission. A fake Ethics Committee was built inside the Federation of Industries of Rio de Janeiro, recording took place at April 15. Filming was done in the same month and the film went to post-production.
Strategy against leaks
After the first film leaked and got in the hands of millions of people before the official release date, the Elite Squad 2 crew created a strategy to avoid the same thing happening to the sequel. Before production began, Marcos Prado informed that, "This time we will have a special security scheme. We will have a security team watching over the editing, transporting the reels, and paying close attention to every little detail. The raw material will be preserved". Director José Padilha concluded, "We won't outsource any of the steps. We are doing the whole post-production at our company, inside our 'caveirão'". The script was sent to the National Agency of Cinema under the title "Organized crime" and was printed with red ink, to avoid photocopying. The production unit rented an apartment, monitored by cameras, where editing took place. Four people had access to the place, only through passwords, and no means of accessing the Internet. Another strategy used was the marking of each copy sent to the theaters; that way if any of the copies was illegally recorded, they would know where it came from. Military policemen from São Paulo also helped in avoiding the leak. The final picture, still with no sound, was put in a safe.
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within was critically acclaimed. Based on 42 reviews, the film received a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In a review for G1, Luciano Trigo affirmed that the film is a "blow to the spectator" and that it has "a script far more ambitious than the first one". According to Trigo, director José Padilha was able to avoid "traps" in the sequel, such as "repeating the how-to from the first film, or giving in to pressure from those who called the first film 'fascist'" and went "even deeper on the realism and toughness of the social scenario in Rio de Janeiro, stained by violence and corruption in all its forms". On UOL, Alessandro Giannini praised Wagner Moura's portrayal of Nascimento and affirmed that the film is more "consistent and cohesive" than the first one and that "there is no room for doubts or ambiguities". Carla Navarrete wrote on Yahoo! that "the plot is much more complex, as Padilha's direction is more firm. Wagner Moura is as sharp as ever with his character. Aged, his Nascimento brings a chilling dramatic background". Marcelo Forlani from the website Omelete, ranked the film four out of five, citing that "'Squad 2', like the first, is still violent, still polemic, still punching at the same button" and that "the comic relief moments work so well because the rest of the movie is packed with action and tension". On MSN, Karen Lemos wrote that the flim "re-writes the concepts brought about by the first movie: instead of crooks, the police; and instead of the law, corruption". At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 71 based on 18 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within broke national opening weekend records in Brazil, with more than 1.25 million spectators during its first weekend. This opening was the 5th biggest in Brazilian history and the biggest one for a Brazilian film, so far. A total of 696 theaters are screening the film about 8 times each day. In three weeks, the film surpassed the mark of R$ 60 million in gross revenue and over six million viewers becoming the most successful Brazilian film of the 21st century so far on local theaters. In just nine weeks, the film surpassed 10 million viewers on theaters throughout the country becoming the highest box office of a local film in Brazilian history.
United Kingdom release
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within was released in the UK by Revolver Entertainment  on August 12, 2011.
United States release
The film held its United States premiere in January 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival. Since, it has screened at several festivals, including Austin's Fantastic Fest. The film was released in New York City on November 11, 2011, and in Los Angeles on November 18, 2011.
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- Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
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- Official website (Portuguese)
- Official website (English)
- Elite Squad: The Enemy Within at the Internet Movie Database
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- Elite Squad: The Enemy Within at Box Office Mojo
- Elite Squad: The Enemy Within at Metacritic
- Elite Squad: The Enemy Within at Rotten Tomatoes