Before the preview session we were warned that the film was dark and violent but fun. For a Sci-Fi alien film, Attack The Block turned out to be on the light side with less blood and violence than expected. It was fun! The audience laughed a lot - a real plus for a teen flick as there were lots of baby boomers in attendance.
A London housing estate is besieged by extraterrestrial monsters. Writer/director Joe Cornish keeps a fast pace, punctuating the humour with the inevitable but fairly subdued ‘horror’. The script is clever at times, though the frequent references to oppression of the block’s underclass youth by police, government and society is hardly subtle or necessary. Better to let the bleeding obvious… Anyway, it’s a film about a London riot of a very different kind.
The youthful cast proves the depth of acting talent in Britain. John Boyega as gang leader Moses deliveres his heroic lines with suitable deadpan. He has excellent comic support from Luke Treadaway as nurdy Brewis, and gang members Pest (Alex Esmail) and Biggz (Simon Howard). Pre-pubescents Mayhem (Michael Ajao) and Probs (Sammy Williams) add the kind of attitude you’d expect on the block.
The plot is so implausible I won’t even bother with any spoilers. Clearly U.K. government budget cuts have sunk deeper than an alien’s glowing teeth, as the military don’t even seem to notice an attack from outer space.
It’s a Them and Them and Us movie. Like the teens, it turns out that the aliens are just misunderstood. Fittingly Moses apologises to Sam (Jodie Whittaker) by telling her that they wouldn’t have robbed her if they’d known she lived on the block.
Nearly forgot the drugs warning: There is lots of weed in this movie. It’s a big part of the humour so not everyone will be pleased.
(Thanks to Ned & Co for the free tickets.)
PS. Life imitating art: a guidedog-in-training had to be removed by its trainer after barking at a tense moment late in the film.