Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2 Rabbits: Getting Capery in Sao Paulo

You’d think a schemer like Edgar would be more into RPGs than video games. Maybe he just got hooked on Grand Theft Auto during his two year cooling off period in Miami. He has returned to Sao Paulo with a plan to clean up the city’s worst element and redeem his past mistakes in Afonso Poyart’s 2 Rabbits (trailer here), which releases today on VOD.

Edgar is a slacker, but his knows his micro-electronics. They will factor in his plan to bring down Sao Paulo’s worst drug lord, Maicon. For years, he has beaten every rap thanks to information supplied by the Assistant District Attorney, who happens to be married to his sliny defense attorney. However, someone has provided the DA a batch of mega-incriminating evidence.

This time, Maicon will need the personal intervention of crooked politician Jader Kerteis, but it will not come cheap, as Edgar knows. After all, it was Kerteis who pulled the strings to allow the slacker to wriggle out of jail time after he accidentally ran down a young mother and her daughter. Legally, he got off scot-free, but his conscience is a different matter, especially when he sees Walter, the still grieving husband and father, who now works for his restauranteur father.

2 Rabbits is one of those films that constantly rewinds, giving viewers flashbacks that suddenly illuminate whatever baffling bit of business it just began. These interludes are slyly executed with plenty of energy and black humor, but we keep waiting for the ones that will explain why Edgar has it in for Maicon and why a particular figure from his past has agreed to help him, but they never come. That leaves a couple Amazon-sized motivational holes right it the center of the film.

If we do not get hung up on why anything happens, it is rather enjoyable to watch the pinballs bounce around. 2 Rabbits is all about style over substance—and Poyart’s approach is most decidedly kinetic. He also has a flair for dropping plot twists, even if, strictly speaking, they do not make a whole lot of sense.

Poyart creates enough good will through his choreographed madness to overcome any lingering pedantry. Basically, all his ensemble can do is hold on for dear life, with the exception of Caco Ciocler, who shows a bit of range as the anguished Walter. 2 Rabbits really is a film produced for gamers and it succeeds on that level. Recommended for its attitude and visual panache, 2 Rabbits releases today (1/19) on VOD platforms, including iTunes.