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Sunday, November 13, 2011

DVD Review: "Attack the Block"

"There's worse things out there to be scared than us tonight... Trust!"
Teenage gang members defend their South London hood against a dangerous alien invasion in the much hyped but little-known sci-fi flick, Attack the Block.

Wait...before you write this off as just another alien flick, consider this: 1) how often do the aliens in big budget films attack anywhere else other than New York City (with the recent exception of Battle: Los Angeles)? and 2) how often do the aliens get punked by a bunch of teenagers of color? Slim to none on both counts.

Sure, our young heroes (Diggz, Pest, Jerome, Dennis and Moses) don't exactly have the cleanest slates. After all, they only noticed their neighborhood (affectionately called The Ends) was under attack by countless unearthly creatures when they were in the middle of robbing a fellow neighbor of her wallet, phone, money and her peace of mind. They became, essentially, antiheroes; villains who became heroic when their domain became threatened by a much larger villain. In essence, they felt forced to protect the only thing they knew they could claim from anyone else--a multilevel cluster of apartments in a rundown building complex (otherwise known as the projects) that anyone else would be too frightened to visit.

The police have given up on it. Other Londoners have abandoned it. But this spirited quintet stay up all night vanquishing these creatures--narrowly sparing their own lives--with the help a few stoner dealers (Ron and Brewis) with whom they seek refuge.

Not only is Attack the Block wickedly entertaining, but it's also well-written, suspenseful, whip-smart and moves rocket fast. The largely unknown cast, led by John Boyega (Moses) is surprisingly hilarious and believable with sharp line delivery (notably by Alex Esmail, who plays Pest). The other casts consists of Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker (as Sam, the woman whose purse they stole), Luke Treadway (Brewis), Leeon Jones (Jerome), Franz Drameh (Dennis), Simon Howard (Diggz).

Although the special effects of the creatures could have been better done, it does add a more endearing quality to the film, while still managing to scare the bejesus out of the audience in a few memorable scenes. Writer/director Joe Cornish, who's gaining respect as the scribe behind Stephen Spielberg's upcoming fantasy flick The Adventures of TinTin, scripted a marvelously adventurous alien movie that really resuscitates the genre with an as compelling a script as its characters.

Rating: A


veezworld said...

I really enjoyed the story and could overlook the 'budget SFX'. Well done!

Matthew Coates said...

I absolutely loved this movie. One of the year's best. Great sense of humor mixed with horror, almost like the vibe from Ghostbusters. I hope it makes alot of money because it's a word-of-mouth movie

Dankwa Brooks said...

Good review! I too LOVED 'Attack the Block'. I saw it at an Advance Screening in Baltimore in May and have been championing it ever since! Boyega's performance alone made a fan of his. As a director I am always awed by great performances. I am eagerly waiting to see him in Spike Lee's HBO Joint 'Da Brick'.

There's dual talks of either an American remake (fail) or a sequel (win). On a side note it's US distributor Screen Gems really dropped the ball on this one. REALLY. Last I checked, it made LESS than $1 million in the US. smh.

Linda said...

I loved this film too. I thought it looked great and went back to watch a few scenes over because they were so well done. Thanks for the review.

Daniel said...

Love this film, think you really nailed all the positives about this films. Boyega really impressed me in the lead.

Paolo said...

I like this movie, it has the charisma and cadence conveyed by the its script and actors. And I don't mind the effects, actually. It's a good trick to make the aliens hairy unlike say, the obvious CGI work in Cloverfield.

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