New on DVD: City of Men

Posted: June 30, 2008 in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
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City of Men DVDCity of God was a masterpiece; City of Men not so much.

That is not to say it’s not good but it pales in comparison to its predecessor – both visually and narratively.

City of Men follows two of the younger surviving characters from the original, picking up with them six years later. Both boys grew up without fathers in the gang-ruled streets of a favela in Rio de Janeiro.

Now turning 18, Acerola (Douglas Silva) is the father to a son of his own while Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha) worries the identity of his father will never be known. As the best buddies struggle to become men, the typical battles for supremacy riddle the streets and city’s youth with bullets.

The film is plagued by numerous flashbacks to the main characters’ adolescence and the hurdles they faced; however, they seem to be present mostly because the footage is available. Upon watching the “Making of” feature, we learn that there was a television spin-off of City of God which starred the same two young men. Thus, the film is the series’ grand finale.

While this results in palpable chemistry and bona fide friendship between the two actors, it also brings an expectation of knowing and caring for the characters that not everyone has had the opportunity to establish. Furthermore, this film tends to be less of a “sequel” to City of God since it has a whole other production from which it draws its story.

Overall, City of Men is a good film on its own but disappointing when compared to its predecessor.

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