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Attack the Block follows an unlucky young woman 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 an intergalactic war-zone. Written by
I Was Cheering The Aliens . Wasn't I Bruv ? For Real
This got a lot of hype when it was released last year . When I say " A lot of hype " I do mean from a parochial jingoistic British press which is no indication of quality since the British press often blindly praise celluloid with the flag of union on it and for the second review in a row I have to mention Danny Boyle's SUNSHINE , a film that was described as a modern day classic by the Britsh critics but a film I found bitterly disappointing . So I sat down to watch ATTACK THE BLOCK and afterwards I found myself questioning if I not only saw the same film but if I shared any of the same moral codes of the critics who praised this dire piece of brain dead , morally empty , unentertaining rubbish
The main fault of the film jumps out at you from the very first scene : a nurse walks home late one night and she is robbed by a gang of muggers . Let me point out that that this robbery doesn't involve a bunch of cheeky chappies quickly snatching a bag and then running down the street - the mugging involves a bunch of thugs holding a knife to the throat of a lone terrified woman. In some films this scene would be followed by a vigilante stepping out from the shadows and blowing away the said muggers with the film then centering around the vigilante who is an " anti-hero " This unfortunately doesn't happen because these muggers are in fact the anti-heroes of the film . Luckily there's an alien invasion underway so then these scumbags who hold a knife to the throat of a woman can redeem themselves in an example of speciesism
But before we get to the redemption we have to endure some " cool right on happening street culture lingo " ( It says here ) that'll get all these wicked kids from da streets punching the air happy in the knowledge someone has made a film that understands them - not . I could quote some of the dialogue from Moses and the street posse but the site would notice recognise these words as graphic spelling mistakes and reject this review . They aren't real words anyway and the dialogue comes across as a highly patronising parody of a grade Z Ali G speak . There's something both highly patronising and offensive about Joe Cornish screenplay and in no way does any of it seem ironic
Perhaps the greatest shame about ATTACK THE BLOCK is that there is , if not a good film , then perhaps an entertaining one trying to get out . Russell T Davies managed to resurrect DOCTOR WHO with an urban working class audience in mind , something he excelled at and perhaps Cornish tried to do the same thing here but has failed . The anti-heroes are far too hard edged to elicit empathy even though the villains are murderous aliens from another planet - just because they're killing aliens doesn't make them good guys in any way . Put it like this - if a rapist murdered a convicted child killer would the rapist then become an exemplary role model ?
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