Filmmaker José Padilha has been making headlines around the movie blogosphere of late, thanks to his attachment to helm the RoboCop remake/reboot. However, he already has several acclaimed films under his belt, including the documentary Bus 174, the gritty crime drama Elite Squad – and its sequel, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within.

A trailer has been unveiled for The Enemy Within, which is currently Brazil’s highest-grossing cinematic release of all time and has been earning major accolades while making its way through the festival circuit – including the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Based on this early theatrical preview, it’s easy to see why.

Padilha directed and co-wrote the Elite Squad sequel with his frequent collaborator: Oscar-nominee Bráulio Mantovani (City of God). Like its predecessor, The Enemy Within is headlined by Brazilian actor Wagner Moura (who is starring in Neil Blomkamp’s upcoming Elysium) – as (now) Captain Nascimento.

Here is an official synopsis for Elite Squad: The Enemy Within:

The sprawling favelas that surround Rio de Janeiro are some of the most dangerous places in the world… and it’s Captain Nascimento’s job to take down the gangs that run them. Although his methods are violent, he’s very good at his job. When he’s promoted to a powerful government position, he thinks he’ll finally be able to finish the job – but instead finds out that he’s only made things easier for the dirty cops and corrupt politicians that are truly running the show.

Now check out the film’s trailer below:

While it’s probably safe to say The Enemy Within is not quite as rapidly-edited as this theatrical preview, the violent action scenes glimpsed here are nonetheless appropriately terse in mood, gritty in texture, and (visually) engagingly constructed. The squalid urban settings and ramshackle South American neighborhoods only heighten the authentic feel of the footage on display here.

That’s not to mention, the crime drama’s dark and Noir-style plotline – pitting Moura’s complex law-abiding captain against both dangerous criminals and a government system where institutionalized corruption is the norm – looks to be richly-realized and developed. It really does seem like the comparisons being made between the Elite Squad sequel and the collective work of Martin Scorsese – along with HBO’s beloved real-life crime drama series, The Wire – are quite appropriate.

Overall consensus? The Enemy Within definitely comes off as a film worth seeing. Plus, it will also provide an early opportunity for U.S. moviegoers to familiarize themselves with both Moura’s acting prowess and Padilha’s directing abilities – now that the pair are moving on to bigger-budgeted sci-fi fare.

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is slated to begin a theatrical release in the U.S. on November 11th, 2011.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers