Braquo: Season 1 / Braquo: Saison 1 (Version française)
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A dark realistic cop series from world-famous filmmaker Olivier Marchal. Braquo follows a squad of Paris cops who exist in the blurred boundaries at the very edge of the law, often using violence and intimidation to get the job done. The lives of these officers change radically when their squad leader, falsely accused of corruption, commits suicide. Determined to clear his name they start an investigation of their own, only to find that the police department itself stands in their way. Driven by adrenaline and a thirst for justice, they must turn their backs on the laws they’re sworn to enforce if they are to uncover the truth. Facing constant danger from all sides - and with the two most likely outcomes being imprisonment or death – the stakes couldn’t be higher, but that merely serves to crank up the tension in this acclaimed series.
Lorsque leur commandant, injustement condamné dans une affaire, décide de se suicider, quatre flics de terrain se lancent dans une contre-enquête pour laver son honneur et confondre ses accusateurs. Double vie. Doubles personnalités. Partagés entre le bien et le mal. Conscients du danger permanent. Avec au bout, la prison ou la mort...
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, there’s still a lot to like in this exciting French series about rogue cops who are only a bit better than the criminals they chase. Playing like Sydney Lumet’s great 1970s and 80s films about New York cops on steroids, this show about a high profile band of morose, angry police who’ve long since abandoned the rule of order pulls off something quite amazing, which is making you care about these morally almost – but not quite completely – corrupt people.
The acting is terrific, as is the casting. These cops look like real people, not TV actors, yet still have just enough sexy cool and charisma to ensnare you. And the show has a look that is edgy and gritty in an effective and exciting way, with lots of camera movement, shadowy lighting and interesting angles (profiles seem as common as head on close ups).
The ‘bad guys’ in this case are not just the truly scummy criminals our group faces, but also Internal Affairs, who are constantly looking for a way to bring these cops down. That’s tricky, since the squad is politically popular for getting results and solving high profile cases, so IA can’t go after them without an airtight case, which these guys make very hard to do. They know how to cover their tracks.
If only they hadn’t felt the need to fill the show with quite so many complex plot lines that don’t quite hold up on closer examination, and ‘how can they possibly get out of this’ moments often resolved in ways that are hard to buy, this could have been a classic. As it is, it’s still well-worth seeing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Season One (from 2009) and Season Two (from 2011) both got a North American DVD distribution and, having picked up both sets, I have found this a new binge-watching pleasure. I haven't enjoyed a series so much since I discovered "Spiral" (also from France). Both Seasons have 8 episodes stretched over 3 discs with each episode running approximately 46 minutes. There are no bonus features. And if you've gotten this far, I hope I don't have to mention that the series is in French with English subtitles.
Season One: The series kicks off with a killer plot line and establishes its violent tone quite quickly. The show is not for particularly sensitive viewers! Accused of malfeasance, a Parisian officer commits suicide in the premiere. His faithful squad mates (and best friends) seek to avenge his death and bring about justice at any cost. Jean-Hugues Anglade (a favorite of mine since Besson's great "La Femme Nikita") plays the squad's leader and is a pretty typical antihero. He can be both admirable and unhinged by equal measures. He seems somewhat chilly to his friend's widow, but undeniably committed to uncovering the truth. Another standout in the cast is Karole Rocher as the requisite tough chick. And the foursome is rounded out by wildcard Nicolas Duvauchelle and the unexpectedly sensitive Joseph Malerba. Pitted against a villain with a supremely obnoxious haircut (Geoffroy Thiebaut as Roland Vogel), there seems to be only three outcomes available. Their antics could lead to justice, death, or imprisonment.
Season Two: With everything that transpired in Season One, it's no wonder that Internal Affairs has gotten closer and more interested in our rogue band of cops. The freedom that they've experienced seems to be at an end. Anglade, in an effort to protect his team, makes a startling decision that all but disbands the unit. With everyone going a separate way, it takes a crisis to reunite the friends (even if it is outside the justice system). This time, our guys are completely on their own with both the police and the bad guys looking to take them out. While I did appreciate the new direction for Season Two (and it is exciting), it is also somewhat less real feeling. This may bother some, but I was more than compensated by the sheer entertainment value provided.
If you like International programming and/or gritty crime drama, "Braquo" is definitely a series worth checking out. (And while I'm at it, I'll give another shout-out to Spiral as well). KGHarris, 3/14.
The story starts off with Max interrogating a rape suspect. Unable to get a confession out of the suspect, Max loses his temper and stabs the suspect in the eye. The suspect, Bennaissa, is taken to the hospital, Max is taken into custody. Internal Affairs proceeds with an inquiry into Max's conduct and history. Dismissal seems inevitable. Which would mean losing his pension. During the inquiry, Max commits suicide. Max was dismissed from service, posthumously. Because of the circumstances, Max's family are denied his pension. His squad reasoned out that if they could make Bennaissa recant his testimony and retract his charges, Max would be reinstated posthumously, and the family would become eligible for pension. They then formulate a plan to sneak Bennaissa, the rape suspect, out of police custody and convince him to recant his testimony against Max. Wearing masks and armed with shotguns, they sneak into the hospital and kidnap Bennaissa. The plan was to scare him into agreeing to take back his testimony against Max, and then return him back to the hospital. They take him to a vacant area outside of the city limits and proceeds to try to intimidate him into retracting his statements, as well as naming his accomplices in the rape. Just as before, Bennaissa proves to be stubborn and refuses to cooperate. Theo, high on drugs, loses his temper and shoots the suspect in the head. Now, the group will have to find a way to coverup the mess.
With an equally corrupt Internal Affairs officer hot on their trail, it is all the four could do to stay one step ahead. This is a story where all of the characters are grey and suitably complex. Those who enjoy HBO's "Game of Thrones" will enjoy this French import. Needless to say, this is for mature audiences only. Highly recommended.