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Attack The Block - Some blocks deserve to be attacked.
Attack The Block (DVD)
Member Name: kirstymc
Attack The Block (DVD)
Advantages: Slickly filmed Brit Flick
Disadvantages: Frustratingly glorifying loathsome characters.
Director: Joe Cornish
Writer: Joe Cornish
Stars: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker and Alex Esmail
Attack the Block is the directorial debut of Joe Cornish (of Adam and Joe fame) - it is billed as a fast paced urban sci fi comedy. The only recognisable actor is Nick Frost with the rest of thecast made up by unknown actors.
Aliens attack planet earth and the only ones who can save us are a group of juvenile delinquents dressed in tracksuits and hoodies. It is bonfire night in the UK and the thousands of fireworks filling the night sky do well to hide the fact that the world is being invaded by aliens. The aliens have decided to start their invasion in a generically grimy London council estate. The only people who seem to realise that the invasion has started are a group of teenage thugs who unwittingly kill a baby Alien. The aliens "friends" then converge upon the block to reap revenge on their friends murderers. But there can be only one victor in this battle who will it be?
I do not normally include spoilers in film review but feel compelled to in order to effectively convey my feelings on this film.
I have to say I really did not like this story at all. Opening with a mugging of a defenceless woman by a group of stereotypical teenage chavs, that seem to be omnipresent on Britains streets at the moment, I was hoping this would be a film whereby these wholly despicable characters were destroyed by the Aliens. How wrong I was. The film follows the teenagers as they kill a baby alien and then are pursued throughout the block by other vengeful aliens - unfortunately the humans triumph. The only pleasure I got from this film was seeing a couple of the chavs being caught between the ultraviolet glows of the aliens jaws.
From the first few minutes of the film I despised the leading characters and despite the films best attempts this opinion did not change. Whilst I thought all of the actors played the"hoodies" very well and I cannot criticise the acting I found myself cheering for the aliens. The ridiculous teenage patois that they were talking in was really grating it was all "innit" "cuz" and "blud" although I have to say that I found this funny in places but I am not sure that was the intention. Nick Frost is wholly underused being in only a few scenes and his presence normally guarantees a few laughs but there were none.
I felt the aliens were suitable creepy for what is a low budget British film without Hollywoods millions and high tech CGI. On the whole for a Brit flick the filming was rather slick.
The Message (sorry this is a bit of a rant)
I never thought I would have such strong feelings about the message of a light hearted comedy Brit flick but here we are. The film seems to be attempting to make us feel like we mis-judge all of the chavs we see hanging around street corners. How sorry I was to see these cretinous kids hailed as heroes at the end of the movie. There were a lot of clumsy instances of the writers trying to say that the reason they were out mugging people and selling drugs was because they were from a poor background, they have none existent parents, have been failed by the government etc. As someone who grew up on and still lives on one of the toughest estates in the West End of Newcastle I find it hard to accept this as an excuse for mindless thuggery. It was clear right the way through that the characters thought their behaviour was fine with no sense of the accepting responsibility for their own actions. There were 2 particular moments that really jarred with me the first being the point when the muggers handed the girl they had attacked her ring back (begrudgingly I might add) and she said thank you!!! Thanks for giving me back the thing you stole from me at knife point not 2 hours ago - I think this was meant to make us feel aww see they're not all bad but this just left me feeling more annoyed. At the end of the film the girl that had been mugged at the beginning of the film was praising her attackers as they had went on to "save" her - ridiculous she should have let the Aliens get them. The next instance that stuck out was when the lead character Moses began pontificating that the aliens had been sent in by the government because the population of theblock were not killing themselves quick enough with drugs and guns - argh.
I was galled at the way the police were portrayed in this film - being that they were shown as incompetent and "always arresting the wrong people". The wrong people! You are selling drugs and mugging people at knife point - I don't care if you have just saved the world.
I am sure many people reading this will think I have taken the film too seriously, my boyfriend certainly thought so and said he wholly enjoyed the film, but it the message and characters made it absolutely impossible to watch in anything other than frustration.
On the whole I have to say I hated this film and cannot help but think that it does nothing other than glorify the mindless thugs that prowl the streets and I really worry about the message this sends to young kids.
I would have given it 1 star but the Aliens were very good so have given it 2.
Summary: British sci-fi "comedy" - Joe Cornish directorial debut