I am an action film fan. I like violent in film; of course you have a lot of different stages of violent, from a B-movie excessive no-brainer violent to beautifully choreographed, a la John Woo violent. This film from Brazil, The Elite Squad, or Tropa de Elite, a 2007 Brazilian movie by director José Padilha is actually not very violent in the sense of the audience get to see a lot of blood.
But in this movie, violent was packed in a very realist way. You know these stuffs in the movie did happen in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a portrait of everyday life in Brazil at that time: armed Gangster (not small arms, assault rifle ones!) selling drugs and party in slumps, (very) corrupt police force, not unlike what we are experiencing ourselves in many developing countries, and frustated by the systems good cops, who decided to use vigilante art of war against the “bad guys” (crooked cops and gangster alike).
The story is so real it was mesmerizing. One team leader from the Elite squad BOPE, a special unit of the Militray Police in Brazil, was looking for replacement. He have been fighting crime at the cost of his relationship with his wife. Cliche I know, but quite different here.
He would then choose between two idealist police newcomers who was frustated by the corruption in their police force. The process showed also the BOPE selection and training camp, which is quite amusing for Army-fan among us 🙂
This is not a Bad Boy film kind of police film, this is about how one man can change the way his society is (falsely) working. And the men portrayed here choose then the violent path, officially sanctioned vigilante.
Right or wrong is not the issue here. It is a life and social question.
So I welcome this movie as one of the amazing action film I have watched in recent monts.
By the way, you can read more about the BOPE here: