Attack The Block is a film that’s had a lot of buzz surrounding its limited release in the United States. It’s the type of buzz that Hollywood usually has to dish out millions of dollars in order to generate. Unless you’re reading this in the UK or in one of the country’s largest cities, there’s a very good chance that you haven’t got a chance to (legally) see the film. While not many people have got the chance to see it, those that have done nothing but glow about it. On the surface, here are the facts about Attack The Block that should get you very excited: It’s a British film; Edgar Wright (director of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) is attached as a producer; Nick Frost (star of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul) is in it; and it’s a low budget sci-fi action film about an alien menace. As a fan of sci-fi action films and a guy that has Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Paul on his shelf as we speak, you can just imagine my excitement to watch it. “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY”, I suppose you could say. But does Attack The Block really deserve the buzz or is it yet another home run from across the pond?
Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is a young female that is jumped one evening by a group of hooded teenagers on her way home from work. The teen’s, led by a kid named Moses (John Boyega), takes Sam’s phone, her purse, and her ring. Just as these young kids are mugging Jodie, a bright light comes from the sky and smashes into a nearby car. Jodie uses the distraction as an opportunity to escape. The group of teens examine the damaged car to see if they can find anything of value. What they find is small, dog-like aliens that attack Moses and then runs off. Moses, who fears that this alien has just tarnished his “badass” reputation, decides to chase it down and kill it. After Moses and his group of friends track the alien down, they kill it and take it to Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter), the local drug dealer and “owner” of the block – the block being the part of the city in which they live, just in case you weren’t following. Hi-Hatz believes that Moses may have just found a new species; something that could make them all very rich. Just when Moses and his friends begin to celebrate their new found friendship with the most powerful man on the block, more bright lights begin to fall from the sky…and these things aren’t as small. Watch this movie on Putlocker.
You know that restaurant that your friends tell you that you just HAVE to try? The restaurant that has “the greatest burger that you’ll ever have.” The restaurant that you hear about for months and months and finally decide to experience for yourself. The one that after you had the “GREATEST BURGER EVER” fills you with the feeling of “ehh.” Attack The Block is that restaurant. That may sound like a negative thing, but all that I’m really trying to convey is that Attack The Block, a film that has been praised all summer and that I’ve gotten so excited to see, is a bit of a letdown when you’re watching it in hopes of being awed. If you’re just a casual person that is casually watching a movie and you just so casually choose to watch Attack The Block, you’re probably not going to have that same letdown feeling. You’ll casually say that it’s decent and casually move on with your very casual life.
This is a film that has been promoted as the new age Gremlins. Folks, sorry…this ain’t Gremlins. For starters, this film doesn’t have any of the charm that Gremlins had. The single biggest flaw in this film is that at no point do you like the heroes. Whereas the kids/heroes in a film like Gremlins or Super 8 are harmless and somewhat relatable, the kids in Attack The Block are pieces of shit. When you’re introduced to the heroes of Attack The Block and they’re mugging a young woman and spend the entire movie being blabbering dipshit’s, it’s kind of hard to root for them at all. In fact, you’re kind of rooting for them all to die. But the film’s writer (and director) Joe Cornish just assumes that since these kids were running away from these intergalactic glowy teethed monkey wolverines for the entire movie that, somewhere, we would begin to cheer for them. Not the case, Mr. Cornish. The film almost begins to realize this near the end. Right before the big payoff, the film quickly attempts to make you sympathize with the main dipshit protagonist, Moses. It’s a laughable attempt to make you, the viewer, forget that you just spent the last 90 minutes hoping that this kid dies. There’s also this very weird 8 Mile-like ending that makes absolutely no sense.
But outside of those ginormous flaws, Attack The Block is pretty decent and, at times, pretty fun. The film looks and sounds fantastic. Both Tom Townend and Steven Price did a wonderful job in that regard. I was also a fan of the stunt sequences and the film’s special effects are pretty brilliant; especially for being a low budget film. However, those things cannot make up for the films negatives and the end result is something that is just very bland and, at best, very decent.
Also: If you’re planning on disregarding this review and rushing out to watch Attack The Block anyway, be prepared to not understand half of the dialog in the film. The teenagers in Attack The Block are young British urbanites of Generation Y, so be prepared for dialog like this:
KID #1: Ah wuz gunna made joo, nah ahm gunna dead joo. (Translation: I was going to make you, now I’m going to kill you.)
KID #2: Yo, ah ain’t lion. (Translation: Hey, I’m not lying.)
KID #1: Imma git mad killin’. (Translation: I’m going to kill you.)
…unless you’re a young Bristish urbanite. In that case you’ll have no problem whatsoever. Enjoy!
Disappointed, but not completely unsatisfied*. I give Attack The Block 3 out of 5.