Sunday, July 03, 2011

Attack The Block

Year: 2011
Director: Joe Cornish
Cast: Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Simon Howard, Leeon Jones, Luke Treadaway, Nick Frost

Plot: A group of South London teenagers team up with a nurse they just mugged to defend their apartment block from invading aliens.

Review: Amongst all the loud slam bang summer blockbusters coming in your face this year, in slips this low key comedy thriller about aliens invading your backyard.

Attack The Block can be considered low key due to its minimal use of special effects and a cast made up of mostly unknown actors. Thankfully, director and screenwriter Joe Cornish makes it work well. The premise is reminiscent of Aliens but it's actually a lot closer to Guillermo del Toro's Mimic, with plenty of light-hearted moments.

Probably to achieve some realism, Cornish gets these kids to speak a South London accent, from the sounds of it, they really are from there (if I'm wrong about this, please correct me). It's quite fascinating and funny at the same time to listen to it, which can be somewhat confusing sometimes, yet hilarious anyway.

All five of the kids are very believable as the teenage gang of muggers thinking they're really tough, until they face an enemy they're not prepared for. But to their credit, they manage to step up when needed to, and show they're not to be messed with. John Boyega makes a good leader of the gang in Moses, showing his mettle in the face of danger, and is really the bravest of the lot. He shares some good rapport with Jodie Whittaker, who plays Sam, the nurse he and his gang mugged just before the aliens land. Sam is forced to team up with him and his friends when things get out of hand, and makes herself useful in a scene or two. The other kids lend some great support as well, especially Alex Esmail, who plays Pest, the one with the best lines of the lot. Not to be forgotten are Luke Treadaway as a drug addict who was unlucky enough to be in the block, and Nick Frost as the drug dealer he was buying weed from. The two of them also put in some pretty funny moments here.

Because of its low budget, the CGI for the aliens isn't very convincing, they look like black cotton swabs with flourescent teeth. Plus some suspension of disbelief is needed to really enjoy it, as some lapses of logic do occur from time to time. But if you are looking for an alien invasion film that doesn't take itself too seriously, then Attack The Block is for you.

Overall, it's worth checking out if you're looking for something different in the alien genre. (3.5/5)

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