Along with almost everyone in Brazil, I have now seen José Padilha’s Elite Squad: The Enemy Within. Following on from it’s action heavy inception in 2007 (my review is right here, if you were wondering), the film moves on from looking at the corrupt underworld of Rio to the altogether more provocative subject matter of Brazil’s amoral police force and Capitol rule.
Tackling the nefarious subject with more gumption the second time around, with all this protest patter subjected to the cinema screen, is Padilha’s state overhaul message potent enough? It reminds me of John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’. Ostensibly a protest song, it has become commercialised to the point of becoming a futile Christmas commodity. Sure, we may slip on our scratched CD copy of Now! That’s What I Call Christmas and sing it all in unison whilst stuffing mince pies in our inflated faces, but are we actually picking up on the overriding message? For all its narrative flaws, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within has so much to say, so I suggest you shut up and listen.
PS – Yes, I now know ‘overwroughtly’ isn’t a word. Calm down, Collins.