Review: Attack the Block (2011)

Aliens invade a London council estate. We review 2011's Attack the Block

An inner city council estate is under attack from a group of hairy, greedy, dangerous things… and no, it’s not the local kids, it’s actually aliens.

Whilst hanging out and causing normal midnight mischief a group of youths mug a nurse (played by Jodie Whittaker from The Kid). Luckily for her the mugging gets interrupted when a big light zooms from the sky and crashes into the car next to them. Moses (John Boyega), the leader of the little gang, heads over thinking a firework has crashed into the car making it easier to steal whatever’s inside. A ruckus and a scratch on the face later they all realise this is a little bigger than a firework, almost like a dog… until they discover it is, in fact, an alien. What is the logical course of action for the group? Hunt it down and kill it, of course.

After they succeed they head back to the comfort of their council block, comforting themseleves with the thought that they have saved their planet from an alien invasion. They soon discover they are not alone and it’s not long before more black, hairy, green-toothed creatures hound them down killing everything that’s in their way. Facing the invasion head-on, it’s time to ‘get tooled up blud’ and ‘kill dem tings’… with the help of the very nurse they attacked in the opening scene.

Attack the Block is different to recent alien invasion films that have hit the screens recently, but that doesn’t necessary mean it’s amazing. Director Joe Cornish (of Adam and Joe fame) does a good job here, taregeting specifically today’s youth. The dialogue is filled with street slang and slurs that don’t necessarily relate to the wider audience. It is, however, funny to listen to and certainly shakes things up. The concept of an alien invasion in a South East London council estate is a fresh one and while watching it you don’t really find out much about why the aliens are there – all that matters is whether the Block will win.

It’s a lot more gory than expected which is quite freshening. The aliens are great; jet black furry balls with glowing green teeth that are rather terrifying but also seem like evil versions of Sully from Monsters Inc.

The cast of young unknowns do a worthy job of pulling off their characters but it also seems that Cornish could’ve just picked anybody for these roles. Attack the Block is a good, almost fun, alien invasion film. It’s to be taken with a pinch of salt and not too seriously, ‘you get me’?

Best performance: Luke Treadaway as Brewis.
Best scene: When the aliens crash through the flat window.
Best line: Pest – ‘You’d be better off calling the Ghostbusters, love’.

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