After a prison riot, former-Captain Nascimento, now a high ranking security officer in Rio de Janeiro, is swept into a bloody political dispute that involves government officials and paramilitary groups.
In 1997, before the visit of the pope to Rio de Janeiro, Captain Nascimento from BOPE (Special Police Operation Battalion) is assigned to eliminate the risks of the drug dealers in a dangerous slum nearby where the pope intends to be lodged. Captain Nascimento is trying to find a man to replace him because his wife is pregnant and he intends to quit the command and become a trainer of the new recruits. Meanwhile, the two idealistic friends Neto and Matias join the Military Police force expecting to become honest policemen and fight the criminals. However, they see only corruption, lack of competence and stupid bureaucracy in the Military Police, and after a serious incident in the Morro da Babilônia, they decide to join the BOPE. The lives of Capitain Nascimento, Neto and Matias are entwined along the next months, first in the tough training period and then in action against drug dealers. Nascimento believes that Neto could be his substitute, but his impulsive attitudes jeopardizes ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Had a total public of 2.4 million paying viewers while playing in theaters in Brazil - in addition to the estimated 11 million who watched the bootleg copies. See more »
[Baiano is surrounded by the BOPE soldiers, having a handgun pointed to his face]
... N-not in the face, boss.
Don't shoot my f-face, you'll ruin my funeral...
[Capitão Nascimento puts the handgun away]
Soldier 07, hand me the 12-gauge.
Please no, boss...
[Handing the 12-gauge shotgun to soldier Mathias]
Do him, he's yours.
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Tropa de Elite is an amazingly good film; by turns brutally real and horrifyingly hilarious.
It claims to be based on a true story and I find that sadly believable. The main plot revolves around the captain of an elite police unit trying to find a replacement for himself, while dealing with the birth of his child and the horrendous stress of his job, and a mission to clear out a dangerously violent slum.
There are no wholly good people in the movie, and it's frighteningly easy to compare some of what goes on to things happening in the USA (and other places) today. That said, the system of government and policing portrayed comes across as so amazingly inept and awful that it's almost like something straight out of a nightmarish sci-fi dystopia.
If I had to compare it to other movies, it comes off as a cross between Brazil, Office Space, and Full Metal Jacket. Not for the weak of stomach, and you may find yourself greatly disagreeing with the ideals of various groups portrayed (which I believe is part of the point), but I would be enormously surprised if this movie doesn't make you think and give you something to talk about.
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