The all-time biggest hit at the Brazilian box office, José Padilha’s blazing thriller is even more riveting than the original, and more incisive in exposing the twisted alliances of power, police and crime at work in Rio.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
“Unlike many sequels, it is completely self-contained, so if you don’t remember a thing about the first movie, that won’t interfere with your enjoyment of this one. From the brilliantly staged opening sequence – a prison riot that turns into a bloodbath – the energy never lets up. The main character, Nascimento (Wagner Moura), the leader of Rio de Janeiro’s special military police unit, mismanages the prison riot, so he is removed from his job but eventually kicked upstairs to a government intelligence post. There he uncovers a web of corruption that spreads from the police department to the highest levels of government. Although the film is billed as fiction, it draws on real scandals in Brazil, which may explain why it has connected so powerfully with audiences at home… While Nascimento can kick butt with the sangfroid of Dirty Harry, the actor also conveys genuine anguish when surveying the tragic consequences of the violence ravaging Rio… Nascimento’s relationship with his teenage son adds unexpected tenderness.” — Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter
“Beautifully documented by Brazil’s young, but revered, cinematographer Lula Carvalho and complemented by an equally strong soundtrack… An exhilarating and at times tear-jerking ride through the city’s prisons, slums, hospitals and parliament that cuts dangerously close to the bone.” — Tom Phillips, Screendaily