Attack the Block (2011)

It’s the last flavor of the year! That makes me sad. I’ve been saving Attack the Block for Halloween, which has been insanely hard since I’m a sucker for alien invasion movies and even more so for stories about ordinary folks getting accidentally sucked into grand adventures. Lucky for me, this one was worth the wait. That makes me happy.

Bloody hell.

The story: “Whoop! Whoop! Das da sound o’ da police…”

Aight gov’nuh, see dem Moses an’ ‘is friends is one ruff pack, innit? Not even old enuff ter drive, dey spend dey nights up in dem streets checkin’ fer unspectin’ people ter mug, know wha’ I mean? Dem’s really not da kind ov crew you’d call on if it’s ‘eroes work yew be wantin’. But when some narky aliens start droppin’ out ov da sky, dem’s is all dis run-down block ‘as. Truss.

Sorry, in my head that sounds EXACTLY like how they talked. The story is basically U.K. street gang vs. aliens. Let’s move on.

Is that an alien? No, just a white lady.

Biggest letdown: I was tempted to leave this section blank, I enjoyed it that much. Though they hardly detract from the experience, there are certainly elements that are less than perfect, including some of the battle sequences, which lack the active cinematography and polish you might expect from a true Hollywood actioner.

Viewers may also justifiably question the official response to the crisis, which appears at times to be very limited, very delayed, or both. While it may seem as though the governmental inaction is just a convenient mechanism to keep the kids at the center of the story, it’s actually explained, though perhaps not as explicitly or as promptly as would be advisable.

Oh, good. I can't follow British movies if there's no Nick Frost.

Why you should watch: As a child I had no friends a really active imagination. My top fantasy was to get caught up in a Goonies-style adventure with a tight-knit group of companions, staying just a step ahead of danger on the way to some epic discovery. Despite the hardened, even vicious nature of the kids in Attack the Block, and the frightening, fatal consequences of their predicament, that same sense of adventure pervades. One of the kids says exactly what I’d be thinking in his position: “You know what? I’m shittin’ myself innit…but at the same time…this is sick.”

Attack the Block is able at different times to be genuinely funny, scary and thrilling, which is all a part of what makes it a great movie. But for me it’s that distinctly youthful appreciation of both the danger and the wonder of the situation that makes it a special film. This is the sort of movie I could watch again and again.

Who the fuck are the Goonies?

Memorable Moment: Attack the Block has some pretty strong similarities to The Warriors, another excellent movie about a gang of street toughs on a terrifying but undeniably unique adventure. In both instances, the legitimacy of the gang hinges on the credibility of their leader, in this case Moses (relative newcomer John Boyega), who possesses far more presence and gravity than should be possible for one so young. Though he struggles with some of the more demanding dialogue exchanges, it’s in moments of wordless intimidation and action that Boyega truly shines. The best of the bunch comes when our heroes seek refuge from the pursuing aliens in a neighbor’s apartment. Their sanctuary is short-lived as one of the monsters, which just moments before killed several armed men, crashes through the door. Everyone cowers in the back of the apartment as the creature menacingly advances. Everyone, that is, except Moses, who stares the beast down and charges to meet it head on. Valor!

Moses? Wasn't he the guy from the bible that...ohhh. I get it now.

Choice quote: “All right now lads, you’ve discovered a species hitherto unknown to science, quite possibly non-terrestrial in origin, and you kicked its fuckin’ head in!”

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One Response to “Attack the Block (2011)”

  1. […] 31 Flavors of Terror A terrifying movie terror-thon of terror « Attack the Block (2011) […]

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