I must admit that when Attack the Block first came out I dismissed it completely. It looked like it wasn’t something that I would enjoy. In the last few years I started hearing good things about it from multiple places. This year I was finally able to see it, multiple times in fact. I’m glad that I was finally able to see it and learn that it is in fact something that I would enjoy.
Attack the Block was written and directed by Joe Cornish. I know that this was Cornish’s directorial debut. He’s only directed one other movie since, though he has several projects in the works. He has other writing credits, among them Ant-Man. His way of writing is able to blend action and comedy is fun with being able to sprinkle in some social commentary to add an extra kick.
This cast is something else with what the then mostly unknowns have gone on to do. Attack the Block stars John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Luke Treadaway, Jumayn Hunter, and Nick Frost. This was John Boyega’s first movie, and he carries himself like he’s been in other movies. He went on to be in Star Wars and he continues to work in high profile projects. Jodie Whittaker is currently the newest iteration of The Doctor in Doctor Who. The members of the gang have a kind of camaraderie that feels like they had been friends for years. Jumayn Hunter is pretty terrifying as the unhinged Hi-Hatz. He works incredibly well as the human antagonist.
The plot of Attack the Block centers on a street gang lead by Moses on the night of Guy Fawkes Day. They all live in the same building which is a public housing facility. They’re interrupted while mugging a woman by a meteor crashing into a car beside them. Moses is attacked by an alien and then Moses kills the alien. The gang take the alien’s body back to where they live where they see more aliens fall to the earth. They gear up to go fight the aliens.
The practical effects used for the aliens is fantastic. The smaller alien looks amazing since its basically a puppet when you see it for most of the movie. The larger aliens look menacing with how they move. The CG effects for the larger alien’s mouths is great. It adds to their menace since that’s the first and main thing that you see when you see them at all. The costume design for each of the kids as well as the other characters. Each of the kids have an interesting costume that gives you a small hint of their characters. The production design for the apartments also gives you a hint at their characters as well. The music was done by Basemant Jaxx and Steven Price. The score for the movie is absolutely outstanding.
Attack the Block is a fun alien invasion movie set in a London public housing facility. It was announced recently that Joe Cornish was working with John Boyega on a sequel, which is pretty exciting if they can get something written. If you have access to Starz you can watch it on there for free or you can rent/buy it digitally and physically. I give Attack the Block 9 katanas out of 10.