Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Attack The Block - Movie Review

Attack The Block - Movie Review

Cast: Jodie Whittaker John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard, Nick Frost

Director: Joe Cornish

From one half of a very successful UK comedy pop culture duo comes this film about an alien invasion on a South London council estate.

On Bonfire Night, nurse Sam (Whittaker) is walking home when she's approached by a group of lads, lead by ringleader Moses (John Boyega). Needless to say the group doesn't want to escort the nurse home but set about mugging her.

However, their attack is interrupted by something falling from the sky - together the gang set on a creature which appears to have been what fell from the sky and kill it, before taking it to local drug dealer Ron (Nick Frost).

But when more objects start falling from the sky, the gang arm themselves and set about defending their territory, the Block (a council house) from the invaders...

Attack The Block is a slice of welcome cultural sci-fi - the writers spent a year studying the language of the youthes of the area and it's reflected in every last spoken detail on screen, taking in street vernacular and interplay between kids these days. It takes a little bit of time to get used to - but soon, it starts to become a catchy lingo and you may even find yourself dropping in the odd word from time to time.

For a relatively low budget UK film, Attack The Block is a certainly assured piece of film-making. Cornish has the perfect eye for details and shots as well as throwing in some good action sequences as well.

The aliens themselves are kind of novel too - furry like gorillas but with huge glow in the dark teeth (which fade out like batteries dying after the creatures are killed) they're feral, brutal things which are unlikely any other aliens ever committed to screen.

Cornish has also made some difficult decisions about the cast - there'll be some who feel torn about supporting a gang of muggers who're forced to try and save the day; almost as if the ASBO youth deserve sympathy for their plight and it's society which made them what they are. Cornish though doesn't pursue too much social commentary even though it's inherently there in the story, choosing to focus instead on the lingo and some comedy moments, such as a pair of 9 year olds following the group around trying to emulate them. He chooses to show the root causes of life on a council block rather than preach about it.  The relatively unknown cast do a great job of bringing them to life and the whole thing feels fresh and different.

There's something novel about Attack The Block - and something which will give it a life beyond the big screen - it's destined for cult status, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check it out. In the words of the gang themselves - "Believe, bruv, believe."


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