Movie Review: Attack The Block

Disenchanted young punks vs. Gorilla/Dog Glowing Jawed Aliens is a tough sell but first time writer/director Joe Cornish makes it work and makes it work in spectacular ways.  Attack The Block is not only a fresh, energetic, smart, witty, and entertaining film but if I could revise my top of 2011, this flick would have been right at the top of it.  When I heard the premise was British kids battle aliens flick I was apprehensive but this movie is more “The Warriors” than it was Super 8.

The plot of the film revolves around a gang of British hoodlums who fight off extraterrestrials that have crash landed on their block in a low income London neighborhood. Immediately only a movie so bold would open with the main characters mugging a young woman and use the rest of the movie to build these characters back up to make you care about them as protagonists.  It’s this device that is used to educate you about the political and social situation in England’s lower economic neighborhoods.  The film is savvy enough that isn’t too preachy with its message and through all the wit, sci-fi gore and amazing dialog is a message of redemption and taking responsibility for your actions.

I seemed to be in the minority when it came to my low opinion of the film “Super 8” and after seeing “Attack the Block” I got a clearer sense of what Super 8 lacked.  Super 8 had great direction and visual style but lacked substance, character development and it never succeeded in being its own movie instead of a throwback of nostalgia and 80’s references.  Attack the Block takes its influences and predecessors and makes something new and exciting out it.

The stand out actor of the film is John Boyega who plays “Moses” the subsequent leader of the gang and as a character arch and evolution as interesting as the movie.  Reports are Boyega has already been tapped by HBO to lead a new series called “Da Brick” which is loosely based on the life of boxer Mike Tyson.    The character of Moses is tough as nails but can’t help to hide his humanity as times played perfectly by Boyega.

Of course I don’t expect everyone to love this film. As soon as I finished the film and hit the boards I got to read the usual fodder that accompanies a film where the heroes aren’t recycled archetypes, but I assure you this movie needs to be seen.  Whether you’re a sci-fi fan or just a fan of fun entertaining movies and not scared off by having things play out a bit outside the box, this flick is a must. Cornish uses broad stokes and paints a great looking picture with some great young actors, snappy dialog and a tech-noir soundtrack and that could fit your favorite Carpenter film.  Shoe horn Attack the Block somewhere between Drive and Deathly Hallows 2 as one of the most entertaining films of 2011.

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~ by ATOM on January 10, 2012.

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