City Of Men

"OK"

City Of Men Review


Splintered off from Fernando Meirelles' undeniable City of God, Paulo Morelli's City of Men, a continuation of the acclaimed Sundance Channel TV series, takes on a similar ghetto with a similar Dickensian cast of gangsters, seasoned veterans, and day-job so-and-sos as they go 12 rounds with the day-to-day routine of slum life in Rio de Janeiro. But where God used a central eye to see the pervasive crawl of violence in the ghetto, Men goes for straight shooting and high hopes.

Morelli, a veteran of the television series, continues to document the lives of two young men that make their home in the area known as Dead End Hill. One, a young father named Ace (Darlan Cunha), has a problem paying attention to his son while also trying to excise his youthful indiscretions. The other, a motorcycle-taxi driver named Wallace (Douglas Silva), wants to find his father before he gets his ID card for his 18th birthday. These young roustabouts, especially Ace, find themselves in the middle of a turf war between likable though snotty gang leader Midnight (Jonathan Haagensen) and his right-hand man Fasto (Eduardo BR).

Attempting to ride the same wave as God, the film has a fleeting interest in all the characters it brushes up against, from Wallace's ex-con pop Heraldo (Rodrigo dos Santos) to Ace's wife (Camila Monteiro) to wannabe-gangster Caju (Pedro Henrique). Despite its moments of visceral gunplay and the suspenseful night raids staged by Midnight to regain his territory, Men inverts the cause of God's unfathomable power and plays things as strictly optimistic with a glint towards the future: the next season of the show.

Rocket, the central character of City of God, is a product of his environment, taking no time to go into his personal history. Rocket doesn't necessarily matter in the pastiche of his story, making every character he brushes up against just as important as him. In this light, characters like Li'l Ze, Carrot, Knockout Ned, Benny, and Li'l Dice become even more memorable than the central lead. Reminiscent of Steve Coogan's summation of his fictional life in 24 Hour Party People, Rocket is a minor character in his own story.

City of Men's downfall is its terminally conventional pull to run every action and character through Ace and Wallace's perspective. It ultimately comes to the fact that you might have to have seen every episode of the series to fully appreciate the minor revelations the film springs on you: Wallace meeting Heraldo, Fasto betraying Midnight, Cristine leaving Ace with Clayton. In the eyes of a veteran viewer, the payoff might be a whopper but then, what's the point of a film filled with these revelations?

Perhaps it's unfair to consider Morelli's film against Meirelles': You might as well compare a company newsletter to Candide. But Men lacks history, relevance and, perhaps most substantially, charisma. It wanders up and down the slanted streets and dilapidated shops and houses with the recognizable air of "look how good we have it." But at the end, when Ace, Wallace, and Clayton walk off without any ties to their slum-sweet-slum, you can almost hear the soundtrack cueing up "Three Little Birds."

Aka Cidade dos Homens.

Now all we need is some beer.



City Of Men

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 31st August 2007

Box Office USA: $0.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $307.1 thousand

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Fox Filmes do Brasil, Globo Filmes, O2 Filmes, Petrobrás

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 61 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Paulo Morelli

Producer: Bel Berlinck, , Paulo Morelli,

Starring: Douglas Silva as Acerola ´Ace´, Darlan Cunha as Laranjinha `Wallace´, Jonathan Haagensen as Madrugadão ´Midnight`, Rodrigo dos Santos as Heraldo, Camila Monteiro as Cris, Naima Silva as Camila, Eduardo 'BR' Piranha as Nefast ´Fasto´, Luciano Vidigal as Fiel, Pedro Henrique as Caju, Vítor Oliveira as Clayton, Vinícius Oliveira as Clayton

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.