Rockstar Recommends: "Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite)"

Posted on November 10 2011, 12:08pm | Author: R* A | Filed Under: Rockstar, Games

Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite) (2007)

As we prepare for our first game set in the fascinating, beautiful and often very volatile land of Brazil, we present the first film in a new series of Rockstar Recommended movies to help prime you for the atmosphere and setting in which Max Payne will find himself plunged this spring.

“Elite Squad” (original Brazilian title “Tropa de Elite”) is a picture very well known as a breakthrough hit in its native Brazil several years ago, but slightly less known on other shores – something which may change with the release of its blockbuster sequel (the highest grossing film in Brazil’s history) getting a proper U.S. release this coming weekend. Based on a book released the year prior, and adapted for the screen by writer/director/producer Jose Padilha, the film is his second in a trilogy of movies concerning the special police forces of Padilha’s native Rio de Janeiro (released between the disturbing 2002 documentary “Bus 174” and the 2010 smash-hit “Elite Squad 2”).

The titular ‘Tropa de Elite’ refers to Rio’s BOPE special forces police squad (nicknamed ‘skulls’ after their intimidating crest) – a highly trained guerilla-style paramilitary unit that steps in when the city’s police force can’t hack it – which, in Rio’s most dangerous favelas, appears to be much of the time.

Inspired by true stories recounted by ex-BOPE officers and set against the backdrop of the Pope coming to visit Brazil in 1997 and wishing to stay with Rio’s bishop who resides adjacent to one of the worst slums in the city – the squad is called up on to clean up immediate crime by any means necessary. Filmed on location in the same real-life favela as 2002’s “City of God”, the production was mired with shootings, police raidings and hijackings as revealed by the director himself.

The film touched a raw nerve with local law enforcement and politicians with its depiction of police corruption (especially rife at municipal levels), the precarious relationship between the law and the powerful drug lords that rule the favelas – and the brutal extremes that both sides will go to enforce and assert their authority.

While of course Max Payne 3 is set in São Paulo, a couple hundred miles from Rio, the social issues stemming from the disparity of wealth persist in both of Brazil’s major cities, perhaps even more so in São Paulo’s currently booming economy where luxury skyrises belie a persisting crime rate of robberies and home invasions – and where the BOPE-equivalent special forces of GOE (specializing in riots, prison uprisings and high-risk hostage situations), GATE (specializing in hostage situations and disarming bombs), and GARRA (specializing in cases of theft, robbery and assault) are regularly called into action.

Look for some of “Elite Squad”’s intense sequences of BOPE soldiers carefully raiding favela warzones and caught in deadly shootouts versus heavily-armed drug dealers and lookouts who wield assault rifles and Uzis as part of daily life – whether recreationally at baile funk parties and while playing foosball, or during police payoffs and drug transactions with middle class drug peddlers.

  • Vladislav.K.on May 8 2012, 9:51amReplyFlag
    @R* we will see them in max payne 3, right?
    • Rockstarfanbron November 19 2011, 8:45amReplyFlag
      R* always keeping the awesome job.

      This surely is the best movie ever made in Brazil. But like my friends in Brazil, I expect to see "City of God" as a "Rockstar Recommend", because its a great movie too. And as told before, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are very similar. Don´t lose this movie.

      Rockstar, the best!

      sorry for my english :-p
      • Celebrinandoon November 17 2011, 11:52pmReplyFlag
        Don't worry R*, I'm from Brazil and I can say that Rio and Sao Paulo are VERY SIMILAR in terms of violence. You are right...
        • Celebrinandoon November 17 2011, 10:55pmReplyFlag
          Here this news on my brazilian gamer blog:

          Obrigado R*
          • Celebrinandoon November 17 2011, 10:38pmReplyFlag
            I'm from Brazil too, games journalist, i will post this on my blog gamesreflexoes

            Tks R*
            • Knockout_Ned_91on November 15 2011, 10:35pmReplyFlag
              @maciej595revan hey sorry for the late reply. my avatar is Irish from Red Dead Redemption, not Max Payne 3
              • NikoLalauon November 15 2011, 11:45amReplyFlag
                Sou Brasileiro e recomendo o filme tambem, muito bom
                • Rodrigo863on November 15 2011, 11:17amReplyFlag
                  Eu sou brasileiro e acho Topa de Elite um bom filme recomendo!!!
                  • IgorSCCPon November 14 2011, 10:47pmReplyFlag
                    The 1st was a great movie, I had the opportunity to see the 2nd yet, but I want to see it, and the unsuspecting, Elite Squad 2 (and 1 too), take place in Rio de Janeiro, and Max Payne , will be in Sao Paulo, a city different from Rio (Both are in the same region, Southeast and neighboring states are (Both Rio and Sao Paulo, have the same names as capitals of their states), is the climate, São Paulo (or "Sampa", as nicknamed by some) is not coastal cities, even the slang and the way of speaking are (do not know how it is here in the U.S., but here in Brazil, there is enormous linguistic variation, each region has a way, an accent, different from another), just say this, not to confuse the cities of the film and play.
                    Sorry if the text was pointless, I used Google's translator, my English is terrible.
                    And ending any stereotype that some might think, we Brazilians do not speak Spanish (as unfortunately we see in some movies), but Portuguese, ethnicity (skin color), here is mixed (black, white, yellow, and ultimately "people colored "xd (who is Brazilian must have understood the joke), has cold regions (mainly in the south of the country), not just forests (St. Paul himself is a Stone Forest, many buildings, cars, buildings, etc.) and capital is Brasilia, not Rio de Janeiro, which was the capital to some 51 years ago).
                    Thanks to Rockstar for making a game in Brazil, GTA, Bully, Midnight, among others, are big hits here.
                    FILM BIG THANKS.
                    • Undeadyon November 14 2011, 6:11pmReplyFlag
                      Thanks Rockstar we Brazilians love that movie!
                      • ziriguidumon November 14 2011, 5:24pmReplyFlag
                        Thanks, R* im brazilian. For me elite sqd is the best brazilian film ever! Elite sqd 2 is Even Better! The film is very bloody...
                        • FelipeFRon November 14 2011, 5:12pmReplyFlag
                          Hehe, very nice of you guys to do this. Cheers from Brazil.
                          • R* Aon November 14 2011, 4:03pmReplyFlag
                            @gabrielc20 Ha, obrigado amigo!
                            • gabrielc20on November 14 2011, 3:24pmReplyFlag
                              Sou brasileiro, Tropa de Elite é muito F.O.D.A
                              • Gogen_HTon November 14 2011, 2:10pmReplyFlag
                                Recomend Elite Squad 2 !
                                • Fille315on November 14 2011, 1:02pmReplyFlag
                                  Hey R* when does the new trailer of GTA V come out? I'm so excited! Keep the good work up!

                                  Big fan / Philip
                                  • R* Yon November 14 2011, 11:04amReplyFlag
                                    @Jack_MrManga @WILL.0809 @moulfrites Thanks all, enjoy the film

                                    @rafita775 Should have a new Max Payne 3 video in the next few weeks, so stay tuned
                                    • moulfriteson November 14 2011, 9:45amReplyFlag
                                      Niiiiice ! very good movie
                                      • Tyasdereon November 14 2011, 9:25amReplyFlag
                                        Melhor filme brasileiro de todos os tempos, o primeiro é maravilhoso, mais o segundo amigo, é de fuder!
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