Attack the Block | Film Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
We need your help.

Newspapers and media companies nationwide are closing or suffering mass layoffs since the coronavirus impacted all of us starting in March. City Weekly's entire existence is directly tied to people getting together in groups--in clubs, restaurants, and at concerts and events--which are the industries most affected by new coronavirus regulations.

Our industry is not healthy. Yet, City Weekly has continued publishing thanks to the generosity of readers like you. Utah needs independent journalism more than ever, and we're asking for your continued support of our editorial voice. We are fighting for you and all the people and businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.

You can help by making a one-time or recurring donation on PressBackers.com, which directs you to our Galena Fund 501(c)(3) non-profit, a resource dedicated to help fund local journalism. It is never too late. It is never too little. Thank you. DONATE

Culture » Film Reviews

Attack the Block

An effortlessly cool sci-fi comedy

by

comment
Attack the Block
  • Attack the Block

The hairy, luminescent-fanged extraterrestrials that wreak havoc in Attack the Block are exotic and frightening, to be sure. But then, so are the hoodlums defending a South London tenement building against them. People are already afraid to go out after dark in this neighborhood; what difference will a few vicious space monkeys make?

This smartly assembled, effortlessly cool sci-fi comedy—written and directed by Joe Cornish and produced by the Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World team—makes instant stars out of the charismatic nonprofessionals who comprise most of the young cast. That’s an especially tricky feat given that the characters start out as contemptible street punks, a roving gang of bat- and chain-wielding muggers under the leadership of Moses (John Boyega). They have personality, though, and a lot of brains hidden behind their swagger.

Given their violent natures, it’s no surprise that their reaction to encountering an alien creature is to beat the crap out of it. But violence begets violence, and soon there are more E.T.s seeking revenge. The boys find unlikely allies in Sam (Jodie Whittaker), a tough, pretty nurse whom they previously mugged, and in a couple of reluctant stoners played by Luke Treadaway and Nick Frost. Those two are the most overtly comic characters, but everyone’s dialogue is fresh and lively, sometimes so rich in what I assume is real South London slang that it might as well be a foreign language.

If this were a heavy-handed message movie, the alien invasion would force Moses and his crew to realize that they have not been living up to their potential as members of society and to change their felonious ways. That is kind of what happens—but the process is thrilling, raucous and absurdly entertaining. Few movies this year have been as all-out fun to watch as this one.

ATTACK THE BLOCK

3_5_stars.gif

John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Nick Frost
Rated R