I never thought I would ever find a filmmaker who could make Michael Bay feel staid and static. But in comes Afonso Poyart, a Brazilian director from São Paulo whose crime caper 2 Rabbits seems to redefine all boundaries of cinematic kineticism. I think I only counted three or four shots in the entire movie that didn’t last longer than 2-3 seconds. If the camera isn’t dipping and diving, swirling and twirling, it’s focused on things (and people) being blown apart, bashed, smashed and crashed. Not so much a movie as a hundred minute EDM music video, it’s difficult to not be impressed by its sheer energy and inertia. But my admiration ends there.
The plot, or what I can make of it, revolves around Edgar (Fernando Alves Pinto), a Paulistano 30-something whose youth was a blur of “video games and pornography.” For whatever reason he decides to pull off an absurdly intricate plot which simultaneously robs a high-powered gangster of around $2 million USD, exposes and murders a corrupt local politician and wins the heart of a beautiful young woman. At some point Edgar accidentally kills another young man’s wife and 7-year-old son in a car accident, but after a perfunctory scene admonishing the corrupted Brazilian justice system, he is free and back on the street. This seems to be an important plot point since the widowed man pops up at several points during the film to read beautiful literature about death and act out some unspecified relationship with Edgar.
If this description seems maddeningly vague it’s because the film itself is the same. Because the film never slows down, the audience can barely keep up with what is going on. The nature of the film’s non-chronological narrative doesn’t help things either; the flashbacks and flash-forwards only further obfuscate the plot.
Of course, one could make the argument that 2 Rabbits is a film of style over substance; how we see what we see is more important that what we actually see. And in all fairness, I was never bored—particularly with such delicious stylistic flourishes as depicting Edgar’s brief stay in Miami entirely through faux “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” footage. But don’t confuse my lack of boredom with a surfeit of interest.
A side note: if 2 Rabbits ever gets released Stateside, I hope that they will invest in better subtitles than the tiny yellow ones I experienced. They constantly blurred into the background of the frame, making them illegible. Either switch them to white ones or, at the very least, give the yellow ones black borders.