Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Attack the Block

By Moira Sullivan
Attack the Block screened in June at the Another Hole in the Head Film Festival in San Francisco.  It was a good venue for it, due to its oddball quaintness. In addition, the film was at Comic-Con last month.  Who would have thought that a pack of teens roaming around South London would be in for so much drama after mugging a woman and taking her cell phone? The gang is mostly black, and they all live in the hood of Wyndam Towers. After the holdup, a meteor falls from the sky and hits a VW bug. As Moses (John Boyega), the oldest boy of the pack goes to investigate he is suddenly attacked by a wild creature, which turns out to be an alien. He shoots it dead. From there, a cascade of black furry aliens begin descending to earth. They kill two cops and follow Moses and company around. 
Back in their hood, Biggz (Simon Howard) is chomped on by one of the hairballs, and soon after they run into the girl they mugged, Sam (Jodie Whittaker). They are surprised to see her in their building and claim they never would have mugged her if they knew she lived in the same block. This doesn’t wash with her, but there isn’t time to negotiate this, as the black creatures with luminous green teeth are chomping at the bit and scaling Wyndam Towers like cockroaches.  
Attack the Block, is an intriguing film because it shows how closely connected the gang is and how finely tuned they are with the survival of the pack. There are other characters that flesh out the story such as a corpulent marijuana dealer played by Nick Frost and one of his main customers, the young Brewis (Luke Steadaway). Brewis is able to make sense of the nature of the invasion, despite being in a constant stupor. 
The gang has not escaped the eye of the local young women, including Dimples (Page Mead). These girls are annoyed with how juvenile the gang is but still are ready to standby and lend a hand to the defense plan.This is a bizarre tale about an epidemic that has psychic origins, a visit from outer space that puts into motion a survival plan in which the hood gets closer, cleaner, and wiser. The South London dialect is easy enough to follow with a riveting sound track including a tune by director Joe Cornish.
Attack the Block is also insightful for it shows how quickly the blame is put on the young black teens for the gruesome deaths in the hood and how they fight against this racial profiling in order to save their neighborhood.

© 2011 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 08/03/11
Movie Magazine International

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