Hey, all. Just posting to let you know I have a new review up on Basement Jockeys. Just go to their website, or follow the link below.
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UPDATE: Basement Jockeys is no longer in existence. A reproduction of my original review can be viewed below.
Attack the Block Offers a New Take on the Alien Invasion Genre
We’ve all seen alien invasion movies. Our culture is rife with them: a technologically advanced race with sky-filling spacecrafts starts a world invasion, and it’s up to a few individuals to save the Earth. Then there’s Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block, which offers a far more interesting—if not more believable—take on the genre. Oh, and the heroes that save the day are a gang of delinquent inner city punks who—prior to the invasion—mugged one of the main characters.
The plot is simple enough: a group of aliens with the ability to hurl themselves across space land on the mean streets of London. What these aliens want isn’t first made clear, but they seem obsesses with a large, run-down residential building known as “the block.” The block is home to Moses, a teenage gang leader; as well as his friends and cohorts, a notorious drug-dealer, and an underpaid nurse. What ensues is a movie rampant with gang violence released on aliens, scuffles with the police, and a chase scene with mopeds and stunt bikes.
What I like about the movie—aside from the writing, directing, and excellent performances—is its originality. First off, the ‘invasion’ is a deviation from the norm. There are no giant ships, the aliens themselves don’t even have technology, and they also don’t seem highly intelligent. But our main heroes are a deviation as well. Sure, we’ve all seen movies featuring some ne’er-do-well character, who usually sacrifices himself for the benefit of the group in some last redeeming act. That, or he gets his comeuppance from the aliens. And usually, this ne’er-do-well is an adult, so we can’t have mixed feelings about his disreputable activities. What we get for heroes in Attack the Block are gang teenagers, whose heroics start from the desire for an adrenaline rush; and then evolve into something more real, more mature, and nobler. Especially when they learn that their actions can have consequences, and they’re willing to take responsibility for those consequences.
All in all, the movie is fun, with a little horror and a little drama to mix things up. Reviewers described Cornish’s movie as “clique-y,” implying that only a certain group of people will like it; but my guess is if you’re at this site, you’re in the group. Allow it.
Attack the Block is Joe Cornish’s first full-length feature as a director—he also was a co-writer for The Adventures of Tintin with Edgar Wright and Steven Moffat. The movie stars Jodie Whittaker (Venus, One Day), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and new-comer John Boyega as “Moses.”