Sunday, 22 April 2012

Braquo series 2 PREVIEW


Walter draws first, asks questions later. Pics: FXUK
Rating: ★★★★

FX UK: from Sunday, 29 April, 10pm

Story: Caplan is put on remand, Morlighem and Roxanne are reassigned to junior posts and Théo Vachewski is forced to kiss his badge goodbye...for good! But then Marceau calls on Caplan in his prison cell and offers him a deal.

Braquo is very dark and a little demented. The cops here do not just cross the line, they throw themselves into the abyss. They play dirty, take drugs, smoke a lot, rarely shave, inflict violence, and have disastrous personal lives. Midsomer Murders it ain't.

In series one, our rogue 'heroes' – leader Eddy Caplan, Walter Morlighem, Roxane Delgado and Théo 
Vachewski – set out to clear the reputation of their boss, Max, who committed suicide after being accused of sexually abusing a rape suspect that he also blinded in one eye.
Men and woman in black – Walter, Théo, Eddy and Roxane

Eddy's crew are in disgrace
They ruffled a lot of powerful feathers and as series two beings the quartet are in disgrace – Caplan's in jail, Roxane reduced to reception duty, Morlighem is on garage duty and Vachewski is out of the force. Meanwhile, in the Paris suburbs four men kill 12 people in a heist that sees them escape with 400 kilos of gold.

These gangsters are former mercenaries from Africa who are hellbent on getting revenge against those who have betrayed them. Their target seems to include a general who meets Captain Gabriel Marceau of the Organised Crime Squad. Marceau's been questioning one of the gangsters, whom the cops have nabbed during a murder.

Macho and murky
It's a suitably murky story, with lots of macho staring and swearing – and that's just between les flics. So when Marceau visits Caplan to offer a deal – release in exchange for help in infiltrating the mercenaries – they come to an agreement with a lot of snarling and sneering.

The Colonel (right)
Braquo is over the top in so many ways – when was the last time there was a bloodbath on the Paris streets involving assualt rifles and Uzis? – but its bleak depiction of cops on the frontline with the criminal underworld is more intriguing than the bland goodies so many British dramas offer us.

It was created by Olivier Marchal, the actor, director, screenwriter and former policeman, and has all the production quality of a cinema film. And the cast – Jean-Hughes Anglade (Eddy), Nicolas Duvauchelle (Théo), Joseph Malerba (Walter) and Karole Rocher (Roxane) – are a fine blend of charisma and desperation.

If you don't give a Gallic shrug for Midsomer Murders or Marple, Braquo will sort you out.