A British import is creating a lot of buzz this summer. No I’m not talking about that British goddess Cheryl Cole, sadly (“Fight for this Love” is my jam). It’s a little film about aliens attacking a South London, or “Soufh Lawndun,” apartment building, better known as a “block,” and the gang of kids who try to survive and fight against the aliens.
I first heard about Attack the Block on Twitter after various movie sites started claiming that the film was one of the best of the year. A few clicks on Google and IMDB led me to the trailer and information stating that it was written and directed by Joe Cornish (!), starred Nick Frost (!!!), and produced by Edgar Wright (!!!!!!). Seeing those names was enough to get me excited. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see a release date for the US so the only way I could see it was through one of the preview screenings put on my various websites. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t the only one who was curious about Attack the Block and missed out on watching it the first time due to being late and the screening filling up. I finally saw it two weeks ago and was not disappointed.
The film starts right off with our gang of South London kids terrorizing and mugging a young woman named Sam. The gang’s success is cut short, though, by an alien crashing down from the sky. Moses, the gang’s leader, decides to investigate and soon receives his first alien attack. Fueled by anger and embarrassment, Moses stomps off and successfully kills the alien. This puts the story into motion as our gang tries to fight against the aliens on their own, grabbing whatever weapons they have lying at home – baseball bats, swords, and fireworks. Along the way, we meet Brewis and Ron, the former a young man whose quest for weed escalates into an eventual “I’m too high for this” adventure and the latter, your “friendly, neighborhood weed man” who wants just wants to tend to his, um, herbs. I’m going to stop there because I don’t want to give too much away as the movie is a short, snappy 88 minutes.
I really enjoyed this film, not just because it involved some of my favorite Brits (I don’t know how they’re marketing this in Europe/UK/wherever, but here in America they seem to be pushing that “FROM THE PRODUCERS OF ‘SHAUN OF THE DEAD’ AND ‘HOT FUZZ'” thing a lot), but because it didn’t try to be anything other than what it claims to be. I went in expecting a film about some kids trying to stop alien attacks and that’s what I got. It went straight into the action and wrapped things up quite nicely. The cast is great and I loved that it was a bunch of real teenage kids. Often times, movies employ actors who are clearly a good 10 years older than 15/16/17 and it can really take the viewer out of the film. Attack the Block introduces us to some very talented kids who do a great job in their first film. John Boyega, who plays Moses, is a great lead and I would not be surprised if he continues to work in films. Really though, all of the kids are charming and I went from disliking them for mugging Sam to cheering for them whenever they managed to escape potential attacks. I also panicked whenever they were close to danger. As a fellow glasses-wearer, I particularly felt for Jerome in his scene; being vision impaired is no fun.
Bottom Line: Attack the Block is lots of fun and a perfect summer movie. Joe Cornish manages to answer the question of “What would happen if aliens suddenly landed in the inner city?” with humor, fright, and heart. Although the teens seem like the kids you would want to avoid on your walk back from work, you will eventually find yourself cheering for them. Go see this movie when it hits theaters on July 29, bruv.