Review: Attack the Block

Sony (Blu-ray)


Moses is the 15 year-old leader of a kid’s gang.  He has what is best described as an ill-defined concept of morality.  He speaks often of protecting the block (the apartment complex they all live in), while oblivious to the fact that it is he, and those like him, that are making it a terrible place to live.  This is illustrated by Sam, a nurse whom the gang mugs in the first scene of the film.  The gang runs into her again later on, throwing her in the path of the man-eating aliens, and then becomes miffed when she won’t thank them for saving her temporarily from the problem they caused.

Ultimately; the film is about responsibility.  Past and circumstances do not define Moses; he does.  As it is stated explicitly in the film, choices have consequences. If Moses is to find redemption, it has to come from his own actions.

The aliens; which are described as gorilla-wolf-like things, have a very interesting and unique look to them.  The concept is that their black fur reflects no light; making them as black as space (kind of like vantablack).  This, aside from looking great on screen, is also a smart way to save on the effects budget.  The animal-like creatures are suitably threatening and present a believable challenge for the gang.  There’s some pretty good action in the movie; despite a lot of it being off screen (again, probably for budgetary reasons).

Attack the Block is a lot of fun.  It takes the old ‘kids versus aliens’ genre and gives it an edge and grittiness that it usually lacks.  It looks great, is nicely paced, and features some great performances from its young cast which includes John Boyega (Star Wars) as Moses, and Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who) as Sam.