Review: Narcos (Season 2, DVD)

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Dark and gripping from the start, Season 2 of Narcos chronicles the end of Pablo Escobar’s life in a fast-paced thriller of a series.

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The popular Netflix docudrama Narcos gave the history of Pablo Escobar and the Colombian conflict an entirely new audience. Season 2 is darker and raises the stakes after the drug baron’s escape from his purpose built prison-mansion La Catedral.

Brazilian actor Wagner Moura does well highlighting Escobar’s complex nature in a multi-faceted performance, showing both the narco-terrorist’s violent streak and the character’s fragility as he becomes increasingly isolated from his family and his options for escape become increasingly limited.

On the opposing side, Pedro Pascal and Boyd Holbrook play a pair of DEA agent with a series of personal problems and a conflicted sense of priorities. Moura, Pascal and Holbrook are accompanied by numerous supporting characters. Mexican actor Raúl Mendez stands out as Colombia’s President Gaviria. He’s torn between the wishes of many to end the violence plaguing the country on all sides and his own desire to capture Escobar at all costs. Amid all these struggles and internal conflicts, the viewer is left wondering just who has the moral high ground as the violence on both sides mounts. Search Bloc Commander Horacio Carrillo (Maurice Compte) highlights this moral dilemma when he’s depicted shooting a street child and throwing minor traffickers from a helicopter when they offer no useful information.

Locations, particularly Escobar’s hideaways, are used to good effect, highlighting the increasingly desperate state of affairs for the drug lord as he nears the end of his life (to extent that in one scene he can be seen burning stacks of cash just to keep his family warm).

Although we knew Escobar’s fate before the series even started, that in no way detracts from the series’ appeal. A number of intricate sub-plots (though not necessarily historically accurate) and minor characters highlight just how conflicted the country was during this period.

Season 2 of Narcos is out now on DVD and Blu-ray via Arrow Films. Watch the series trailer below.

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