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Attack the Block follows an unlucky young woman and and a gang of tough inner-city kids who make an unlikely alliance to try to defend their turf against an invasion of savage alien creatures, turning a South London apartment complex into a war-zone. Written by
This neat little movie by first time director Joe Cornish (in the UK many will be aware of him from his late '90's TV show 'Adam and Joe'), is a very straight forward alien invasion picture. The angle is simply in it's setting. We are introduced to a bunch of generic, stereotypical 'hoodies' on a London high-rise estate. After an attempt to mug a young woman, lights begin to fall from the sky. What ensues is a battle between the "yoof" protecting their block.
This is no great film, the general idea, and it's execution are standard for the genre. What is evident is Cornish's confidence in directing. The actors "under the hoods" are quite brilliant, displaying both the hard exterior that they portray on the "streets", but also their tender side, whilst along the way highlighting the reasons these young men are so disenfranchised; they are all from broken homes. This is quite a poignant issues when juxtaposed with the scenes of riots we saw in London this summer.
It must be hard to come up with new 'alien' monsters these days. We've seen in recent years some diabolically b******s monsters, but the creatures in this film are different and quite exception. Wolf-like, they seemingly have no eyes, and are completely black. Much of the early part of the film we see only shadows, silhouettes, until they open their mouths, displaying glow-in-the-dark gnashers.
Whilst not a ground breaking cinematic masterpiece, or even a great film, it has much to love. It has charm, some good performances, and the tension is palpable at times. It will be interesting to see what Cornish does next (apart from the co-writing job on Spielberg/Jackson's Tintin films with Edgar Wright).
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