Irish Film Institute (Dublín) / Instituto de cine irlandés (Dublín)
6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar Dublín
An assured sophomore turn from director Daniel Cebrián, Round Two welds fight, heist and family drama elements into something that resonates way beyond the sum of its parts.
Ángel (the superbly sculpted Álex González) is being trained by Paco “the Tiger” (Pepo Oliva) for his shot at the big time. But Paco’s idealistic advice is staring to sound hollow, since away from the ring things are falling apart for the boxer. One day, former fighter Vidal (Darío Grandinetti of Talk to Her) blithely informs Ángel that he’s a bank robber and needs help. Ángel robs a bank with Vidal, but this first robbery is just the prelude to a bigger, tougher job — the second round of the title — that Vidal is planning. The busy plot is neatly and economically handled, delivering its big twist in an understated moment that meshes with the low-key atmosphere of the whole. The moral conditions necessary for Ángel’s transformation from do-gooder to crook are convincingly outlined via his need for a role model.