Attack the Block review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
Night-time in South London, Sam (Jodie Whitaker), a nurse walks home from a tube station when she suddenly finds herself being victimized by a group of hooded young thugs. They want her money and the rest of her valuables. But the mugging-in-progress will be halted, thanks to some sort of meteor landing on Earth… which are really aliens invading a council estate! Such is the premise of ‘Attack the Block’, a British sci-fi fantasy-horror-comedy that is unafraid to mix genres to deliver social commentary and the funny to its audience.
Joe Cornish (half of the comedy duo ‘Adam and Joe’) directs his first feature-length film and it’s in the same vein as its producer Edgar Wright’s films such as ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Shaun of the Dead’. Showcasing the unique styling of British comedy, Cornish manages to elicit oddball performances from its cast which also include Nick Frost as a drug dealer and Luke Treadway as a trustafarian who are about to expand their business. The kids playing thugs-turned-heroes – Moses, Pest, Dennis, Jerome and Biggz – are frightening at first then hilarious the next. They embody the scary-good qualities of street gang members and they go around terrorizing unsuspecting victims on their BMX bikes reminiscent of kids in hoodies on bikes in ‘E.T.’
On account of aliens invading an inner city with already built-in street gangs and drug peddlers, I just might have to say – You mad?! ‘Attack the Block’ makes a statement in a comical manner that aliens that intend to mess up an inner city will have to be messed up in return. Of course, in the movie the gangsters are teens but you can’t say they’re not as cunning and crafty as their adult counterparts. It is actually in this switch-up that you mine comedy gold in ‘Attack the Block’. But then again, you’re made to wonder: Can the good people of South London really band with the delinquents when it comes to an alien invasion?