Graphically Speaking: Attack the Block review

Attack the Block

Directed by Joe Cornish
Starring: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Nick Frost, Alex Esmail
Rated R for creature violence, drug content, and pervasive language

I’m sick of aliens. Between Battle: Los Angeles, Skyline, and “V,” I think we need a fresh approach to the alien attack flick…what’s that?…Attack the Block answers my prayers? Tell me more!

Attack the Block is a British film from writer/director Joe Cornish.  Does the name sound familiar? It might not, but thanks to executive producer Edgar “I Poop Gold” Wright, you will soon enough.  Cornish’s feature debut has  been brought over to the States for your viewing pleasure.  It focuses on a teenage gang from South London who encounter an alien.  But this E.T. is no…uh…E.T.  It’s a raving wolf-like/ape-like thing with no eyes, but sharp enough teeth to compensate.  It attacks Moses (John Boyega, the leader of the gang who personifies “silent-but-deadly”) and before long, the teens are pretty open to the idea of an alien invasion. It turns out this thing is just one of many creatures which are hurtling towards Earth.

The film is reminiscent of 1980s flicks like The Lost Boys, The Monster Squad, and The Goonies, where the heroes are a motley crew of losers who rise to the occasion and fight for their lives, typically with household appliances.  In a modern twist, Attack the Block establishes the kids as bad-ass mofos in the first 10 minutes.  They don’t stop to wonder if Wolfman has ‘nards.  They just go to tear them off…after smoking a few blunts with Ron, a pot dealer played by Nick Frost, an Edgar Wright regular.

Attack the Block has cult classic written all over it in slimy, alien goo.  I walked out of the theater wanting to pull everyone who was seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes into Attack the Block.  I saw it in New York City, but it just got a wide release this past weekend. If you haven’t already
reserved the Blu Ray, you may want to get on that.

The title is a bit misleading.  It really should be called Defend the Block since they put up a resistance against the rampaging beasties.  And hey suburbanites, “block” is their slang for “apartment building.”  There’s a ton of British slang that seems foreign to American ears at first, but soon you’re processing their lingo between bursts of laughter and shouts of surprise, both of which are plentiful.

Joe Cornish’s next gig is writing The Adventures of Tintin with Wright, for director Steven Spielberg.  Spielberg isn’t a priority for me after the last “Indiana Jones” installment, but after seeing Attack the Block I think I’ll just have to see that they’ve got up their sleeves.  Is it a firecracker? Samurai sword?…oh wait that’s what the kids in Attack the Block are packing. Oops.

Posted on August 19, 2011 at 19:00 by Lowell Greenblatt · Permalink
In: Movies, Reviews · Tagged with: , , , , ,