Today I watched Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block (2011)
The film opens on bonfire night in south London during which a nurse is mugged by a band of teen hoodlums, but this nurse is not our protagonist, the criminals are. We continue following their night of revelry until they see a meteor strike down very nearby. When they go to investigate they find a strange creature in the crash site and being a bunch of young thugs, they kill it and show the corpse off to their drug dealer. But as they are cooling off for the night, a glance towards the sky shows hundreds more meteors striking down all over London. Now it is up to the boys to stand up against this galactic threat to their territory and maybe learn a little responsibility along the way.
Yes, this is a coming of age movie, circulating around the now Star Wars famous John Boyega. It is a trip from violent street hoods to unsung hero that unfolds with the requisite amount of darkness for protagonists in this lifestyle, but balances it with plenty of wicked humour. But the real star of this film, in keeping with it’s creature feature identity, are the monsters. These creatures are really awesome to look at, with bright neon teeth the only hint of colour in a mass of light devouring black fur. The effect used to do this is a perfect example of how awesome the intelligent combination of practical and computer based effects can be.
And that really is the appeal of this film in a nutshell, it fuses the tried and true themes of wayward youth coming of age with a sleek and modern creature feature. It is brimming with intense violence and gut-busting humour in equal measure and has the air of a supremely well put together flick. It is just expertly paced and timed, every joke and every scare is exactly where it should be. This is just a remarkably well constructed flick and if you have any interest in the plot or creature features in general, you have to check this one out if you have not done so already. 5/5