Attack the Block (2011)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 5:49 PM | Posted in

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 9/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 7/10

ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011) - Joe Cornish

Let me ask a question: What do you get when you combine Neil Blomkamp's District 9 with…. Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead? You get Joe Cornish's Attack the Block.

Attack the Block, Joe Cornish's directorial debut, follows a street gang who encounter a hostile alien species and must work together to defend themselves. The film revolves around Moses (John Boyega), the leader of the gang, along with a nurse (Jodie Whittaker) that the gang mugged just before the invasion.

The film is produced by Big Talk Productions, known for producing Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. If any of these three films have already been viewed and praised, then the humor style of Attack the Block will appear as familiar. The jokes are witty, relying on the power of the screenwriter to amuse. Though half of the jokes center on the subject of smoking and weed, the hilarity of the gags bank on canniness, unlike the misfitted humor found in other comedies such as Pineapple Express.

The characters this time are a unique group of anti-heroes, different from the average monster movie. Though their literal lives are dismissive, their personalities are still inevitably lovable. The vulgarity, the foul language, none of that applies into the formula anymore. The entire cast in this film is unfamiliar, actors who I have never seen before on screen. However, Boyega bears a similar impression as Denzel Washington, making his character come across as being more sophisticated and mature. Whittaker plays an entertaining supporting role and her character realism adds a diversity to the chemistry of the group we follow. The greatest aspect of the gang of thugs in Attack the Block is how the script eases us deeper into their characters, how they are more than just a pack of nobodies, how there is more to them than they appear.

The "confined" setting of the block drives the plot forward in this movie. It sets up excitement and entertainment for the battleground. Here, the environment is a part combat zone part funhouse. It is diverse enough to provide shrewdness and inventiveness to the script, making Attack the Block one of the most original alien films made in a long time.

The alien designs in this film are simplistic yet memorable. They have no eyes, similar to the xenomorph Alien in Ridley Scott's Alien. Their fur is as dark as a vacuum and their teeth glow a neon blue in the dark. With a beast-like behavior, the aliens in Attack the Block are the meanest and toughest creatures seen in a while.

From a filmmaking standard, Attack the Block is a very simple movie. The budget is predictably low and the qualities of the image appear something college-level, which is not a bad thing, by the way. The narrative is briskly paced, enhancing the situations fluently by increasing suspense and intensity, raising the stakes as the plot progresses. The film as a whole is extremely effective in what it aimed to accomplish. It nicely treads on the line between comedy and horror. Though it is die-hard funny, it is also exceptionally gory. Nonetheless, the violence no longer scares due to the comical atmosphere throughout the piece, similar toTremors or even Fright Night.

In conclusion, Attack the Block is an extremely entertaining film. It comes forward as another reinvention of the alien genre, joyfully referencing another science fiction classics as it moves along. It is a straightforward story about an ordinary gang trapped in something extraordinary, turning their hood into an alien war zone. The film is well-paced and well-acted, fabulously imaginative that makes itself equivalent to a cult classic. It is a delightful approach to the alien genre and results in a movie that satisfyingly justifies the time spent watching it. From the words of Peter Travers: "This movie wants and needs to come at you like a beast in the dark. Allow it."

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