Attack The Block (2011)
Directed & Written by Joe Cornish
Music by Basement Jaxx & Steven Price
Running time: 88 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Attack the Block is set on a council estate in South London on Guy Fawkes Night, and, with some coming of age themes, the plot centres on a teenage street gang who have to defend themselves from predatory alien invaders.
I watched this months ago & I’m still not really sure why I did. A movie about a bunch of teenage thugs? A group of people everyone hates?! The UK has enough of a problem with teenagers who engage in intimidating, anti-social, and sometimes criminal behavior while wearing hooded sweatshirts over their heads to hide their faces. They’re a very unsympathetic group so I think a lot of people were a bit “Really?” when a movie came out about teenage thugs fighting aliens. In fact, this movie starts out with our group of teen “heroes” mugging a woman at knifepoint. So how could I possibly like this movie?? I don’t know but I really did! Attack The Block falls into a category I’m always happy to be able to add to: Pleasant Surprise.
I should first address the fact that John Boyega stars in this film. I’m sure all movie bloggers know his name but, come December, the general public will as well since he has a large role in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. He’s been in very little so far so I’m sure Attack The Block has gotten more attention since he got the Episode VII role as people will now be curious to see what he’s like. Well, I’d say Attack The Block is well worth the watch if you’re at all curious. Boyega was very good in this (actually the best thing about it besides the pretty cool aliens) & I can’t wait to see how he does in his Star Wars role now. Oh, and I of course still also highly recommend Ex Machina to see an excellent sci-fi film starring TWO Episode VII actors: Domhnall Gleeson & Oscar Isaac. Actually, these two films would make a cool sci-fi double feature! It would also go very well with another action packed & violent film in which a London street kid becomes the “hero” – Kingsman: The Secret Service. Yeah! These two would be great fun to watch together…
Just so you know, in case you do watch this, I didn’t exactly hate teenagers any less after watching this. The woman they mug at the beginning has to team up with them later against the alien invaders and most of the teens continue to be disrespectful little pricks. Apart from Boyega’s character, no one exactly “sees the light” & decides to no longer be a teenage criminal or some shit like that. But, hey – this isn’t a Disney movie! It’s a rather violent sci-fi action movie and it’s just meant to be fun. Not every movie needs a moral. There are lots of angry reviews on IMDB from people who hate the behavior of the kids in this but, seriously – lighten up, people! Teenagers are horrible. Always have been, always will be. At least a movie actually portrays modern day teens accurately for a change.
Now that I’ve made this movie sound horrible, I should try to explain why it’s not. Actually, I’m not sure why I enjoyed this so much, to be honest! Part of the reason is probably because I thought the aliens were pretty cool & effective. For the budget, I think they got the right balance in making what appears to be actors in furry gorilla suits look surprisingly good. I’m old school so I hate the overuse of CGI. I mean, look at Alien & Aliens! NOTHING has ever again looked as cool as those films do. And look at original trilogy Star Wars compared to CGI-bullshit prequel Star Wars! Give me puppet Yoda & get your CGI out of my face. Okay – one of the coolest things about these aliens is that they have these scary, glowing jaws & teeth that may have involved a little CGI? I’m not entirely sure but a little is fine! I know I read the filmmakers used as little CGI as they could get away with in this film. They kept the alien design very simple & I liked that a lot and think it worked really well for this film. I’ll keep the look of them a surprise for anyone who hasn’t seen this but it kind of sucks that all I then have to post is a bunch of pictures of hooded teens, making this look like some London gang film instead of a cool alien sci-fi movie. Hmm. Here’s a picture of the lady they mug. And Nick Frost, who plays the council estate’s weed dealer.
Attack The Block is a really fun alien invasion movie with a lot of action (and quite a bit of violence – I wouldn’t actually let the youngest teens who starred in this watch it!). The aliens had a great look to them and I found the setting of a South London council estate to be a very original idea for a sci-fi film. While some of the teenage thugs are unlikeable, there are a few who aren’t and they did a good job giving all the characters their own personalities considering that it’s a fairly large cast. I’m a fan of Basement Jaxx, who did the score, and they threw one of my very favorite rap songs in here (Sound Of Da Police by KRS-One). I’m interested in seeing what will happen with Joe Cornish’s career as he’s co-written Ant-Man & will be making the Snow Crash film. Attack The Block is from the producers of other British films such as Shaun Of The Dead & Hot Fuzz and, although it’s not a “comedy” in the same way those are (even though it’s labeled as action, comedy & sci-fi), I think you may like it if you liked those. It’s certainly not as good as Shaun Of The Dead but I’d have to say I preferred it to Hot Fuzz. It’s more my kind of thing, though – I love a good alien invasion movie.
My Rating: 7.5/10
Yay! I’ll take “pleasant surprise” 🙂
I love this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!
I like the alien stuff and I adore the soundtrack but mainly I just like it because it’s a brilliant comedy film! I find it hilarious, especially the dialogue 🙂
It’s definitely got similar humour to the Edgar Wright movies!
Yay!!! I know you like this one, Emma. Glad I FINALLY got around to reviewing it. 🙂 There are really negative reviews of this on IMDB. I don’t know why! It’s fun and those aliens look damn good for the film’s budget.
They do don’t they!! They were pretty scary and cleverly done.
Thanks for your awesome review!! I don’t know why this film has so many negative comments, it’s so much fun!
I own this and have for a couple of years now but have still not watched this. Not sure why I haven’t but should do it at some point.
You should! I enjoyed it so much more than I was expecting to. 🙂
i just couldn’t stand the little shits in it. I wanted to see them all get eaten. And the whole thing was their fucking fault. I really loved the look of the aliens though.
They don’t like you either, old man! 😉 Seriously, though – teenagers suck. I just love a movie with aliens. 🙂
hmm. u think i’ll like it?
Hmm. I don’t THINK so. But I thought of another movie to maybe recommend to you for your thingy…
instead of Society??? 🙂
I promise to watch both, one for the thingy and one not. ur call !
Hmm. Okay – watch Society still! Lol. You’ll HATE it……. 🙂
you are sooo mean to me 🙂
BTW, what was the other choice?
Lol. I don’t wanna say yet because I’m reviewing it probably next week & don’t want you to beat me to it! 😉
What if I promise not to watch it until after ur review is published. I wanna at least find it to watch beforehand
You may have seen it already since it’s an 80s movie but I hadn’t. Miracle Mile?
I know u wont believe me but ive never seen it 😉 sounds interesting, but ill keep my promise and hold off until after u post ur review
I really enjoyed this. I thought it was very funny and I absolutely loved how “London” it was.
Yay! Another fan of this. 🙂 Only two people have said they hate it but there’s loads of hate for it online. I thought it was fun! And indeed very “London”. 🙂
Loved this one and it actually ended up in my top 10 of that year.
That’s great! 🙂 There really seems to be a lot of hate for this film that I don’t fully understand. I enjoyed it!
Great post, Mutant. I think I’m the only person who didn’t like this one. #oddoneout
Thanks, Laura! Screenkicker Mike was the only other one who didn’t like this movie but he’s a bit of a weirdo…. Lol! 😉 No, I can understand not liking this one. The teens were wankers! But teenagers ARE wankers… I enjoyed the aliens, though. I just love alien invasion movies. 🙂
Hurrah for Mike! Teenagers really ARE wankers.
When I was a teenager, I always said I wouldn’t be one of those adults who hates teenagers. Screw that! They’re little bastards now!
I was talking to someone the other day about getting older and how when I was young I couldn’t imagine ever not wanting to listen to Radio 1 or go clubbing, or spending my time visiting country houses or walking or baking. Then when it happens, you realise it happens because you prefer it. In conclusion, yes teenagers are the worst!
Lol. Am I meant to like baking now that I’m all grown up?? Damn. I still don’t enjoy that. 🙂
I went dairy free for a while – if you don’t bake it, you don’t eat it. That was enough to motivate me.
Film Nerd – I started watching this once and liked it so little I never finished it……………… +_+
EMMA LOVED IT, though!!! Quit ganging up on me! Lol! 😉
Are you going to be around for a bit? Like, will you be around in two hours and ten minutes?
Lol. Why?? No, actually – just about to be busy for the rest of the day. 😦
I was thinking of reblogging something from your site – I finally figured out how to do it without fucking up my theme : )
Cool! I’ll be around a little off & on. Will be later tonight. 🙂
Eric! You made a wise decision.
I try to practice solid decision making in my life!
Except when Shitfest rolls around, of course.
Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Shitfest exists for a reason you know……..
If you’re going to be logical…[pff]
Your dear friend.
Nice work, lady! I’ve wondered about this one. I have a feeling it might be my kind of thing, too. Although I’m surprised to hear that it really isn’t a comedy. I totally got a “The World’s End” vibe from this one. Still think I’ll check it out at some point though. 🙂
Thanks, Cara! 🙂 It IS a comedy, somewhat. It’s not quite like Shaun of the Dead & that but I suppose it is a bit similar to The World’s End. You might like it! Seems that people love it or hate it. 🙂
HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Not my favorite but I never finished it. I thought all of those kids needed to die horrible deaths. Stupid wankers!
A lot of them do!
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