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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2013
Braquo is a very gritty, violent and disturbing look at the police in a precinct near Nantere in the North West of Paris. The leader is Eddy Caplan (Jean-Hugues Anglade - Subway,Betty Blue), who's less than clean. His idea of dealing with problems usually involves unorthodox activities. The rest of his team are no better, except for Roxanne (Karole Rocher) who tries to keep the team on focus. There's also John McClaine look-alike Walter Morlighem who's awful with money, and psychotic Théo Vachewski.

If you thought this was bad, most of their heads of chief are just as bad, especially the deranged Vogel who's meant to be policing the police. Expect a lot of action, some of it quite strong, in this excellently directed series from Canal+ and Olivier Marchal.

I managed to get the steelbook edition of this, which had the two box sets in one box. Each box has 3 DVD disks which have 3 episodes. Series one had some webisodes on there, but sadly season 2 is extra-less. The quality is the usual from Canal+, high quality and not overly compressed. The image is usually quite sombre anyway, but the colours are quite good and moody.

Altogether I'd recommend this to fans of The Wire, Spiral, The Killing and Swedish Wallander.
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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2013
I bought this on the strength of Spiral and the reviews but on balance consider it to be a bad judgement.

It was watchable, far from awful, but contained too many tropes. The characters looked like they had been styled on The Wire but with copiously added noir thoughtful smoking to keep it French.

The plots seemed to be largely American in style, which I find best delivered by Americans, it seems to fit better, especially with the amount of armament everyone seemed to be able to lay their hands on in an instant. The shooting up premises with infinite magazined heavy machine guns was straight out of any Bruce Willis film. The need to reload as plot device. The magic gun in Series 2 was straight out of the CIA bonkers weapons division.

Dramatic tension seemed to be based on camera work rather than acting (one of the main reasons I watch French drama) with too many emotions or plot devices driven by the filming technique rather than the actors.

The main characters were insufficiently fleshed out, the occasional minor character e.g., the wife/arms manufacturer delivered effortlessly but then there was the parodic rive-gauche auteur.

Captain Eddy Caplan seemed to do a fair amount of ad-hoc emotional engagement - I could not decide if the most ludicrous had been the melting of the ice maiden running the casino (darling, I killed your brother but for reasons never explained he wanted me to protect you) or his dead colleague's wife switching from reviling him for thinking about sleeping with her to getting on with it (darling, you ruined his life and got him killed now let's get to bed).

It wasn't rubbish but it was fairly thin.
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2017
This French series is quite violent. It handles mature audience subjects, and in the first season gave this particular police group a bad name. After you get to know a few of these police officers, they are not likable, but have some redeeming qualities. This is a rogue group of policemen who were not been reigned in soon enough, and do their own thing.

The four police agents in the Hauts-de-Seine area of Paris are Eddy Caplan, played by Jean-Hugues Anglade, Walter Morlighem, played by Joseph Malerba, Théo Vachewski, played by Nicolas Duvauchelle, and Roxanne Delgado, played by Karol Rocher. Their colleague Max Rossi was accused of criminal misconduct, and committed suicide.

In the second series, the four police have been arrested for crimes off trying to kill a bad guy. Many of the upper echelon seem to be in the wrong side except for a new investigator Marceau.
A plan takes the fall goes to jail, Roxanne is demoted and Theo is fired as well as Walter. Life is horrible for all. Another rogue gang has arrived causing havoc and many deaths. Marceau gives Vaplan, Roxanne and Theo amnesty to join a team fighting this new mercenary group. All hell breaks lose, but at least they are doing police work, even though undercover work is much more dangerous.

Series 2 is much more interesting, great writing and acting.

Recommended. prisrob 06-25-17
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on 13 April 2013
For whatever reason I missed seeing Braquo on television, I hadn't even heard of it.
I have however seen all the other foreign crime and political dramas such as 'The Killing', 'The Bridge', 'Borgen' and 'Spiral'. There is something about these foreign cop series that leave you wanting more, which neither British or US crime dramas do, for me at least. The storyline and background has been covered in other reviews but Braquo continues the brilliance of French counterterrorism and organized crime units that made the 'Spiral' series so rivetingly enjoyable, except that it is significantly more brutal and violent. To some it may beyond belief that any crime unit, in most western police forces could conduct themselves in such a ruthless and uncontrolled way. To me it seems quite realistic to accept that there are government undercover forces that are left to there own devices to combat the worst violent crime and foreign mafia organizations who would otherwise escape being brought to conventional justice. The one proviso from their immediate bosses, do anything you need to, but if you get caught, you are on your own!
Accepting this, the series seems believable and it is possible to accept that undercover police can behave this violently in the 'no go ' areas of Paris, the characters and locations all add to the realism of this gripping series. Unfortunately, the last three episodes of series 2 did degenerate into a more unbelievable British type melodrama which lacked the realism of the previous episodes in both series. A third series is in the course of production and I for one cannot wait to see it.
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on 1 July 2012
The five stars are for entertainment value for this is an amazingly crafted and fast moving cop show with excellent production values. If you find the Shield riveting then the two seasons of Braquo will definitely appeal to you. That said The Shield always retains some semblance of reality even when the lives of Vic and his strike team start to unravel. Season one of Braquo does just about keep within the reality guideline but such is not the case with season two which, despite being edge of the seat stuff, has a complex multitude of plot lines, a massive body count and such a large cast of characters that it is at times difficult to keep track. Suspend reality and enjoy the two seasons as well made thrillers. Morse is dull when compared to Braquo but his stately promenades are certainly nearer the truth.

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on 13 November 2013
This I suppose is the problem with buying foreign language DVDs/Blu-Rays of TV series from Amazon UK.
Buying from Amazon France there's a good chance that you get a menu-based option of no subtitles or French subtitles. Buying from Amazon UK you get presumably what was shown on UK television - French sound and compulsary English titles (again brighter than I'm used to from countries where sub-titles appear on most things).

There is no choice here. You can't turn them off. For starters there is no menu for Audio or Subtitles just for Episode selection. At first I thought that if I had a player with a Subtitle button on the remote that I could get rid of the subtitles that way but I tried that with a friend's new player with such a subtitle button and clicking it had no effect.

I.e. Whatever player you have you will get the French dialog and bright (and slightly too large) English subtitles to distract you and tak up far too much of the screen.

The TV series itself is fine i.e. it's the packaging that is wrong.
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on 7 December 2013
Bought this set a year ago exactly, on DVD.

Thoroughly enjoyed it, on my 32'' Sony Wega TV set, thought the image quality was beautiful - in fact, I thought, ''How could it look any better on Blu?''
A year on, and now with a 51-inch Smart plasma TV - here's the thing:
Bought this last week on BluRay, put the discs in the BluRay player - and could hardly notice any improvement in image quality - in fact, I think I prefer the look of the DVDs, image-wise.
Blown through a hi-def player, the DVDs are actually more pleasing to the eye: because [ironically] of the restricted color gamut on the DVDs, the colour rendering is more aesthetically pleasing to my eye - yes, the BluRay discs give [ slightly ] more detail to facial features, clothing textures, etc but the cinematography looks more synthetic and processed: the grayscale is more sophisticated and tonally-accurate but this gives the lighting less of a chance to manifest itself - THE DVDs LOOK BETTER!

Go figure.
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on 19 December 2012
We really enjoy French movies and bought BRAQUO on spec that it would be good entertainment. We were not disappointed sitting riveted for many nights enjoying what must be more real deal policing than we as a public are exposed to. Violent - yes, brutal - yes, get rich quick plans, murder, mayhem, scheming and dirty tricks - why not ? These elements are as much a part of the "good guys" arsenal as the bad guys. Winning wars is a dirty business as we read in the papers every day. Eddy Caplan; leader of these loyal to each other detectives with the police force coming second are great. The scams going on around them are evocative of real life with bribery and corruption going on at all levels. If you feel some of it is farfetched remember it is fiction - live with it. Interesting to note all the cell phones in BRAQUO may have belonged to Noah and computers just didn't seem to come into it. All good ! Wrapt. Can't wait for more ...... five stars to the writer,director and cast.
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on 1 December 2013
Imagine `The Shield', take it out of L.A., plonk it in the middle of some grotty Parisian urban sprawl, cast some magnificently grimy characters, craft some really complex plotting and add a large helping of Gallic style and you have Braquo.

Given what we already know about the scary French criminal justice system from the likes of `Spiral', '36 Quai des Orfevre' et al, it is no surprise that the actual criminal activity is secondary to political machinations and inter-departmental squabbling; all worryingly plausible. Braquo is populated with flawed characters, many with dubious motivations and, much like The Wire, the criminals are in some ways far more honourable and oddly more likeable than those on the other side of the law; at least you know where you stand with a good old-fashioned criminal.

The mood is unremittingly dark, the plotting is labyrinthine, the pace is relentless, none of the characters are likeable and it's incredibly violent. The total antithesis of soggy, cosy, reassuring cops shows (Blue Bloods and Heartbeat spring to mind), Braquo makes me even more sure than I was before that I will always be very nice and appropriately subservient to gendarmes (their guns alone are scary enough !). Roll on series 3 - will the odious Vogel get his comeuppance?
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on 14 July 2012
Braquo Season 1 & 2 [DVD]wow! this series is perhaps the best cop show to ever come out of France and that's saying something. I thought that 'Spiral' was pretty hardcore - especially series 3 - but this beats that hands down. Makes 'Wallander' look like a cosy 'Inspector Morse' type cops show and even gives "The Killing' (original Nordic version, forget the cheap US cashin) a run for its money.
"Braquo" is not for the faint-hearted,: police brutalty and corruption is highly visceral and no-holds barred. And even though you hate these cops at first, you do eventually realise why they work the way they do. Answer: Noone else will or would do their job...
So this is a highly recommended show. Buying series 1 and series 2 in this box set works out cheaper. Trust me, book a week in and watch both series back-to-back. You won't regret it but your high blood-pressure and stress levels might :-)
Roll on series 3....!
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