Attack The Block (Blu-ray)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment – 2011
Written & Directed by Joe Cornish
This film has received universal acclaim and rightly so. I’d give it a 10 on a scale to 10. Imagine crossing BOYZ N THE HOOD with CRITTERS and then add a pinch of THE GOONIES.
The producers of SHAUN OF THE DEAD have given Joe Cornish his directing debut and the talented British filmmaker hits the ball out of the park. Cornish has written and directed a highly entertaining film that is very well plotted with scenes that interconnect seamlessly.
A motley crew of riff raff kids in South London are forced to defend their turf when a nasty species of aliens crash land in their territory.
The potty-mouth youth use their bravado (hoodies & all) to stand up and fight the jet black furred aliens that sport glowing neon blue colored eyes and fangs. If that doesn’t sound like fun then you shouldn’t be on this site.
The movie is played totally straight with R-rated violence but you’ll laugh many times over the course of this film’s length. The humor comes naturally within the flow of the hard-hitting action. There’s no wink-wink or spoofing here.
I really enjoyed listening to the heavy accented language and use of THE BLOCK slang. You might have to put on the subtitles just to get it all but believe it or not their way of speaking actually enhances the experience.
The look of the film is dazzling with color and the score is really cool combining modern urban styling with horror action. This is not a low budget movie but thankfully it’s not a brain-dead Hollywood blockbuster either. The production values sparkle in every way.
To be honest with you the young cast is absolutely brilliant. John Boyega stands out as Moses the leader of the ruffians. His stern but quiet demeanor works to his considerable advantage as he uses his body language and cold stare to intimidate others. I actually think he looks like a very young Denzel Washington. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t become a major star.
Jodie Whitaker plays Sam, the young nurse who is mugged by the young gang of teenagers at the beginning. Then she’s sort of forced to stay with them as she gets trapped in the action. Whitaker has a fresh face and she flows believably with what happens to her character.
The other members of the gang are fantastically cast, which each young performer bringing something special to the table. Alex Esmail is utterly hilarious as Pest (an aptly named character seen in the bottom right of the above photo). The skinny little guy shows no fear even in the most intense situations, which will have you rolling in your seat.
Franz Drameh plays Dennis with conviction, the character is kind of the second in charge and an extension of Moses. Leon Jones makes Jerome (bottom left in photo above) the intellect/Teddy Bear of the group and he plays it perfectly. Simon Howard is Biggz, who just cracks me up. What is so great about these performances is though the characters are troubled, aggressive hoodlums who are totally up to no good, you still end up caring about them. This is because under the surface they are kids trying to survive in a brutal world. It becomes apparent, though never said, their toughness is actually necessary for them to get by. I credit the actors for pulling this off and the script written by Cornish and his extraordinary direction.
Local drug dealer Ron (Nick Frost) and his boss Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter) appropriately bring creditability as the neighborhood thug kings and without them the movie wouldn’t work the same.
The two 10-year old wanna-be-thugs Probs (Sammy Williams) and Mayhem (Michael Ajao), who use a water-gun filled with petrol and flame to torch the creatures are hysterical.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment gives this the love it deserves by including a slew of cool features to get inside the alien invasion! The hour-long Behind The Block documentary gives everyone a chance to tell their side of the production story and I enjoyed every moment of it. I was especially impressed the way Writer/Director Joe Cornish answers Sammy Williams & Michael Ajao’s question of what made him write this screenplay. Cornish says that he was inspired by SIGNS and he does this while practically whispering in between shots on the outdoor shooting location. Creature Features – Special Effects looks at the work done to make the aliens and other visual effects seen in the film. Lead Creature and Movement Choreographer Terry Notary is shown doing all the amazing physical things to make the creatures real. We also get to see Paul Hyett’s very impressive make-up FX work. Meet The Gang chronicles this amazing cast of actors and they get to talk about what they did to portray their respective roles. Unfilmed Action – Unfilmed Sequences From the Movie is just as described. That’s a Rap – Fun with the Cast on Set and finally Filmmaker and Cast Audio Commentaries round up the stellar extras.
ATTACK THE BLOCK is the Best Film I’ve seen this year.