Re:View – ‘Attack The Block’

The Arts

Joe Cornish’s ‘Attack The Block’ received rave reviews from the critics, and in many ways rightly so, but – well, there’s a big BUT.

The story of a South London street gang who take on an alien invasion is slick and compact. After a female alien smash-lands on a council estate, the kids spend the night racing around on their bikes trying to head off a secondary attack by bigger critters. The creatures are black furry bundles with rows of day-glo teeth. Some seem able to shrug off bullets, while another is killed with an ice skate.

The kids speak in a mock-argot that they created with the director, and anyone over 20 may require subtitles in places, but you don’t really need much of the dialogue at all because there’s virtually no story. The adults, a nurse mugged by the gang for her mobile and a twittish trustafarian in the wrong neighbourhood to buy weed, are terrific, and provide a welcome relief from the child acting, which is sometimes shaky. The few effects are passable.

And here’s the BUT. What nobody seems to have mentioned is that the film is aimed at undemanding kids. It’s an extended episode of Dr Who, with high energy papering over the story cracks. But to be honest, the Dr Who stories are more sophisticated.

3 comments on “Re:View – ‘Attack The Block’”

  1. Alan Morgan says:

    No wonder the Heygate is going, or gone for all I know. Aliens, The Bill, super-powered misfits, more gangs in Shank, even Hereafter, and Michael Caine – in the Rockingham Estate none of this sort of thing ever happened (and it’s just across the road, the New Kent Road). With the Heygate going and the recent plans uncovered to turn Clerkenwell and King’s Cross into a giant branch of Asda where will film makers go?

  2. Rachel Green says:

    you know, I enjoyed this film purely for the fact it was set in Britain. I wish more films were.

  3. Helen Martin says:

    That’s why Canadians will watch anything filmed in their own back yard, especially if it’s allowed to be itself rather than labelled as Seattle or some other American city.

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