Attack The Block: The Reviewgitation

A movie review of Attack The Block with
Direcow Avatar Direcow and Kakita  Avatar Kakita

Some of you might not have heard of Attack the Block, as it’s probably a pretty small release, indie-ish type British movie, but if you’re any sort of geek, it’ll be a shame for you to miss it. Some of you might have heard people raving about it online for a while, and while took a little extra time to reach our shores, it looks like it has been worth the wait.

Attack the Block takes your traditional alien/monster invasion movie (Gremlins, Tremors) and gives it some Bri-ish zing. We follow the exploits of South Ender ne’er do well Moses and his crew as they encounter creepy shaggy beast, or as they call it ‘gorilla dog mofos’, and how they deal with it. Expect a whole lot of swearing, weed and hilarity.

Direcow  Avatar What I did love about it was how old fashioned it was. It harkened back to the time when movies were just structured like a simple thrill ride from start to end, and not the multi-layered parfait we get these days – or the horribly executed explosio-fest. Director/writer Joe Cornish definitely did a good job here.

Kakita  Avatar Oh I’ve ALWAYS been a fan of the old school horror-comedy: things I mentioned earlier like Gremlins, Tremors, Army of Darkness. We almost never have a good old funny scare fest like those any more.

Direcow  Avatar Ooh, ooh, what about Critters? I loved that! The aliens here are like giant obsidian versions of them.

Kakita  Avatar Exactly. Speaking of the aliens, they definitely did a REAL good job on them. The main big bad are huge shaggy beasts of unlight: literally a silhouette of fur until they pounce– and it was an AMAZING visual call. I bet it’s really easy to animate (since they’re just blobs of black) and still horribly frightening. I was looking around for darker than dark patches when I was walking to my car after the movie.

Direcow  Avatar Definitely – and while keeping it all dark might have helped with the budget, they really worked well in the end. The use of puppets also harkened back to the good old times – especially when they started dragging around the first alien.

Kakita  Avatar Ah henson, you will be missed.

And as Direcow mentioned, the plot was a simple one, but that does not mean that it wasn’t effective, hardhitting or tense. It was a good, solid, tight plot. One that delivered over and over again in a short period of time. Attack the Block only runs about 90 minutes, but it felt 30-60 minutes longer than that. Not because it was slow or we wanted it to end, but because SO MUCH was squeezed into that short timeframe.

Not only that, but Attack the Block is also a refreshing change from all the hollywood blockbusters that are your usual fare in theaters nowadays. I was talking to a friend, who said that he liked to watch the smaller productions because they seem… to have more verve than your usual overproduced sci fi movie. He should’ve watched Trollhunter, and he definitely should watch Attack the Block.

Props to the writer Joe Cornish as well as Executive Producer Edgar Wright; this could have happily occupied a geek niche in SIFF, although I’m also horribly happy that it hit mainstream release in the theatres.

Direcow  Avatar And with Joe Cornish at work on the Tintin movies and Ant Man, all I can say is that I have revived hope in them. And speaking of the geek niche – I bet everybody caught all the simple geek stuff like Nobby and Gollum –

Kakita  AvatarAND NARUTO (seriously huge random pop culture references; see if you can catch them all!)

Direcow  Avatar – but what about how they named the blocks?

Kakita  Avatar Wait what did they name the blocks?

Direcow  Avatar Wyndham tower’s in the center, but around the blocks we have Moore, Wells, Huxley and Clarke. And special attention should be paid to the streets they were running about in too! (No bonus points for guessing the significance of the names.)

Kakita  Avatar HAHA! AWESOME.

Direcow  Avatar That it was. And so was the rest of the film really – and what really anchored the film was the acting by the, well, guys in the hood – even the little kids.

Kakita  Avatar Yes. You won’t recognize any of their faces or names, but they’re great actors. Great English actors. Their accent might be a bit thick but everything should be understandable. And a great listen if you’re comfortable with their speech due to… I dunno… Doctor Who?

Direcow  Avatar Haha – very reminscient of this season’s Doctor Who episode “Night Terrors”, given that the whole thing pretty much took place in the same blocks.

Kakita  Avatar One of the bits where they panned pass some lights I expected the TARDIS to rematerialize. And if I remember correctly, even though I and a Who-maniac, that episode has nothing on this movie.

Direcow  Avatar Well, weak half-season of Doctor Who aside, I do think that the movie did a better job of highlighting the situation in the UK. I might not actually live there, but seeing how the kids speak, and how their attitudes were blamed on violent video games, or about how people were not helping the kids in the UK while flying to Ghana – not to belittle the situation in Africa, but all this does provide quite a lot of food for thought.

Kakita  Avatar Oh yeah. Having watched Skins, Misfits and the like, I felt like I was dropped back home, so to speak (not that you need to be a fan of Brit TV or movies to appreciate this). And the kids have surprisingly pithy or philosophically salient points considering their supposed background.

In short: if you’re a geek, if you like your old slightly campy horror romp, if you want something different from your usual movie fare, if you like sci fi, if you want something entertaining but still with a small serving of little nuggets of thinkiness- watch this movie. Heck, just watch this movie anyway. It’s not a perfect movie, but I can’t think of any way to improve it. You’re not going to regret watching it. 9/10

Direcow  Avatar This is a tight action/horror flick for the general movie audience with just that extra bonus geeky stuff that only, well, geeks will get – which makes it a great movie to bring anyone, and a deliciously extra awesome movie for geeks. Good stuff. A pity Petey couldn’t join us for the review – I do believe he loved this movie too. 8.5/10


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