City of God (Cidade de Deus) Review

I’ve really got into foreign films recently, watching some great movies like Oldboy, The Raid, Elite Squad and Elite Squad 2: Enemy Wihtin. City of God has been described as shocking and disturbing and believe me it did not disappoint on that front, but it was also a really compelling and often almost funny look at life in the slums of Brazil.

I can’t say I really know much about the slums of Brazil outside of what I learnt in GCSE Geography in year 9 and Max Payne 3. Throughout the film we follow a whole host of colourful characters whose stories sort of interlink with each other. Like Elite Squad it does not paint Brazil in a nice light. But the thing with this film is that it can go from that to a more, perhaps, light hearted scene. Any movie that has a kid getting shot AND has Carl Douglas’ magnum opus Kung Fu Fighting (left) is DEFIANTLY deserving of your attention.

The movie spans years, but never feels confusing. It’s easy to keep up with, although sometimes you may wish you didn’t. As other reviews have saidCity of God is unpleasant and unsettling. It is horribly violent which may not be good for many viewers.  Drugs are snorted/smoked/injected, dirty sex and rape is abundant and children are murdered. It is extremely harsh to watch and is not for the squeamish and faint of heart. I personally had no worries about it. I must have been heavily desensitized to this sort of violence, being a big fan of violent movies and what not. It fits firmly in the crime or gangster genre with the likes of Goodfella’s and with that comes the violence. Just a heads up.

A short review I realise, but I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. I can just give my opinion. It is a great review, and unlike the great review I linked to above, I did enjoy this film. I enjoyed every blood soaked minute of it. If that makes me a bad person, so be it. But you must check this one out, a violent crime epic spanning years within the City of God.


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