Tag Archives: militia

Part II of this Sequel Didn’t Suck.

We left off where Fraga and Nascimento have figured out that the “militias” purportedly formed to protect the slums are actually armed tax collectors.  The corruption ultimately goes higher up than previously thought.  In a plan to help the governor win re-election, a group of disguised militia men raid a hostile district’s police station and steals a cache of weapons.  While the local police chief is being interviewed by a controversial journalist, he asks that the recorder be turned off.  The chief knows that the thieves were militia, since they used references and equipment that police, not dealers, use.   In the counter-attack planned by the corrupt cops Fabio assures the Secretary that these are the drug dealers, saying that he got this from a “reliable source.” Rocha, the “god father” of the slums uses his power to bring Matias back into BOPE, further weakening Nascimento’s power.  Nascimento is against this mission as he has over 300 hours of recorded phone calls with dealers, that reveal 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 a 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 wipes out the dealers.  Matias manages to subdue the main dealer and tortures him for the information, but the dealer keeps telling that they didn’t steal the guns.

The minute Rocha and Fabio arrive during Matias’s “interrogation” they immediately shoot the dealer.  Furious, 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.  As he storms off in anger knowing he has been played, Rocha shoots him in the back, murdering Matias.  Fabio is not happy since Matias has saved his life but Rocha orders his units to give them a 15-minute window before reporting Matias’s death and concocts an alibi that he wasn’t with Matias when he was killed.

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, goes into one of Rocha’s favelas to make a story about corrupt officers. She is foolish.  Clara goes to an apartment run 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.  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.  Realizing that Rocha is on his tail, 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 not before a drive by shooting seriously injuring Rafael.  Nascimento shoots one of the men and leaves with the trio, rushing Rafael to the emergency room.


As we stated before, the beginning of the movie is shown with Nascimento leaving the hospital and Rocha and his henchmen arrive and try to assassinate Nascimento.  But he is no fool and has his friends from BOPE in a backup car behind him.  He manages to defend himself from Rocha’s men, who barely escape after the 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.”

What is also tough is to compare the two movies.  While they are sequels, the films don’t take place where the first left off.  Elite Squad the Enemy Within takes place 13 years after the end of the first film.  So they really are almost 2 different movies with most of the same characters but, like in life, facing a new reality.  The film is shot using the same gritty, documentary style view for the audience and is just as violent when the violent hits.  All in all I would have to say these two movies are the best I’ve seen this year.  The Portuguese language is interesting to listen too, the story is great, the actors are perfectly cast and the filming technique is superb.



Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Movie Reviews


Tags: , , , , , , ,

We take a look at Once Upon A Time In China

My new partner in crime at and I have decided to collaborate on some of the finest Asian movies we’ve seen and give you, the reader, our thoughts on these films so you can make an informed decision on whether to view them or not.  Also, if you have seen any of the movies we decide to collaborate on we would love to hear your comments on the matter.  Again, this is one in a series we are going to do together so stay tuned for some great Asian movie reviews from two movie connoisseurs.

China has had a very tumultuous history, including hundreds of years of civil war, a humiliating defeat in the opium war and a bloody occupation by Japan.  It was during the dark times between the opium war and the Japanese occupation that a Chinese folk hero, physician and martial arts expert was to emerge — Wong Fei-hung (1847-1924).  Wong Fei-hung, a legendary figure, would, among other things, later inspire his countrymen to endure even bigger ordeals in the last century.  The legend of Wong Fei-hung has also inspired dozens of films.  In my opinion the best is Once Upon a Time In China, a 1991 Hong Kong kung-fu epic directed by Tsui Hark.  This film had five sequels and was among the first to introduce Jet Li as its main star to Western audiences.  Li as Wong Fei-hung provides the viewer with a fine performance especially given that role was played very early in his career.

The plot:  On the surface the movie seems simple enough, as my colleague said, almost Shaw Brothers simple, but in reality the story is very complex and transcends the many martial arts films whose plots can easily be summed up in a single sentence.  Wong Fei-Hung, like his countrymen, is forced to endure the humiliation of American slavers, local gangs, a renegade martial arts master and even his own wayward (but well-intentioned) students.  As if these problems were not enough, he has to contend with his growing affection for Aunt Yee (Rosamund Kwan) which is important as to movie is set around the end of the 19th century when there were great social changes in China.  This is typified with his relationship with his “Aunt” Yee (who is not related to him by blood), as she would be taboo to marry.  The fact that this is a series of films allows the relationship to develop slowly also setting it apart from many Hong Kong films where romances are very fast-moving and unrealistic.

The action sequences are superb, which is unsurprising considering that they are choreographed by Yuen Woo-Ping, though dim-witted critics who can find fault in anything point to the wire-work and use of doubles.  The final showdown is a stunning success of editing as Jet Li was injured and had to be doubled for many of the shots that weren’t above the waist, but his extraordinary  fist techniques make up for this.  The film has a long running time for a martial arts movies so for once there is plenty of time for story and action.

Hong Kong movies don’t come much better than this.  Anyone who is a fan of wire-work and/or the likes of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon should hold this movie in high esteem—either that or they are a communist.  I could not agree more with my new partner in crime at Silver Emulsion.  You must check out his take on Once Upon a Time In China at — you would be a fool not to.


Posted by on April 25, 2010 in Movie Reviews


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: