Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tropa De Elite

Brazil 2007

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, some cops are just as crooked as the drug lords who run the slums. On the brink of retirement -- and burnout -- Capitão Nascimento (Wagner Moura) must find a trustworthy successor to lead a dangerous mission. Co-written by director José Padilha, Bráulio Mantovani (City of God) and Rodrigo Pimentel, the gritty action-thriller is based on Pimentel's 19 years of experience as an elite squad police captain.

A searing depiction of real life experience from one of the co-writers, "Tropa de Elite" is a furiously paced film of police corruption, social segregation merciless vengeance without morale or compromising. With an array of intense characters shot with a nearly unmatched ferocity, the movie never gets boring. The tension never builds because tension is always present, it simply lapses and allows the viewer to take a breath to absorb all that has occurred. Those intermittent breaks from the ferocious dialog and mounting angst and brutal violence gives room for the film's necessary climax with a resolving yet ultra-violent ending. The slums of Rio Di Janeiro as always are absolutely mind numbingly depressing, supplying the disenchanting back drop for an intensely frightening system of a otherwise beautiful country.

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