Attack the Block (4/19/12)

Attack the BlockMovie Eighty Eight

Attack the Block is a modern sci-fi/horror movie with a comedic sense out of the UK that is more charming than some similar movies that have come out of Hollywood, but still falls a bit short.

When Attack the Block was released it seemed to surprise everyone that viewed it since it came out of nowhere. When I first read a review of it I had never even heard of it before and I was instantly curious about it. Fast forward to now and I’m sad to say I don’t believe Attack the Block truly lives up to the hype. It’s not a bad movie by any stretch, it does what it sets out to do quite admirably, it just felt a bit shallow to me.

The plot kicks in right from the start. A woman is walking home and is greeted by teenage thugs, but while they are mugging her a meteor-type-thing falls into a nearby car. An alien appears, the thugs kill it and go on about their thuggish ways. Then more aliens appear, but this time they are even meaner and bigger and they mean business. It’s up to this group of street toughs to save the world.

Some things that didn’t work for me would be the kids and the lack of any backstory or explanation. These kids that mug a woman in the first few minutes of the film are the heroes? Sure, the woman becomes their ally later, but how many other women have they mugged? The main guy, Moses (John Boyega) is an unwilling hero, but I didn’t find him particularly likable or anything. Also, the aliens come and go without any reason. That isn’t a fault, per se, in fact it helps keep the movie focused, but I would have liked to know a bit more. The aliens themselves are really neat looking, and for a low-budget movie like this the special effects are pretty good.

I certainly didn’t hate Attack the Block, I did enjoy it but there was nothing that really grabbed me. I watched it and was interested, but once it was over I was fine with that. Sci-fi/horror buffs or fans of Nick Frost will probably enjoy watching it, but it’s not the genre’s savior film like I would have liked it to be.

I give it 3 “those aren’t eyes” out of 5.

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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14 responses to “Attack the Block (4/19/12)

  1. This just looks like one of those movies where you can’t wait for the end. Don’t think I’ll be seeing this one anytime soon. Great review, as always.

  2. I had the same reaction you did in the fact that the teenage muggers were the heroes. Upon watching the making-of documentaries, I understood what Joe Cornish was trying to do with the story and appreciate a lot of the symbolism he threw in, such as the fact that the kids are essentially hidden by their clothing at the beginning, but slowly strip away the clothing and their emotional defenses as the movie goes on. It was trying to illustrate that the kids lived in a desperate environment where they had to feed off of those weaker than them, but learned to work together to fight a common enemy in the aliens. But it is hard to root for people that you don’t automatically like from the start, and in fact actively dislike. I find it interesting the parallels between “Attack the Block” and “Super 8,” however, though I think “Super 8” is the superior of the two films.

      • I think this movie works better upon repeated viewing once you know what to expect, so you can take in the “literary” aspects of the film. That may resolve the impersonal feeling that the first part of the movie has. It’s a deep film that has a lot to say, but it’s hard to get that if you’re put off by aspects of the story or the characters.

  3. I didn’t like Attack the Block. I absolutely HATED the characters and I honestly didn’t care if they lived or died. The music, look and the alien design are top-notch, though.

  4. I thought it did a pretty impressive job of making us root for the teens by the end. Didn’t like them at the start but many of them grow on you by the end. It goes a bit far with the crowds chanting Moses’ name at the end though!

  5. I had a more favorable opinion of it, it seems. I liked it so much I got it for Christmas. I was completely into everything they did. I loved the ending when Moses became the hero. There was just a nice vibe to this one I haven’t seen in a while.

    Super 8 – not only best movie of the year last year, probably one of the better ones to come out over the last twenty years or so, maybe longer.

    I think I like alien movies. That might be my problem.

  6. Pingback: 60 Second Movie Review: Attack the Block (2011) « polentical

  7. Pingback: April Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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