Friday, October 14, 2011
ATTACK THE BLOCK
ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011)
Directed by Joe Cornish
John Boyega - Moses
Jodie Whittaker - Sam
Nick Frost - Ron
A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion.
This is another one of the festival films that I mentioned about in a earlier post. The cool thing about these films is that they don't play by anybodies rules and do what they want and make no apologies for it. Sure most of the films won't ever see wide national release, but that's fine by me if the directors make the movie they want to make and don't have to compromise on the finished product. I applaud their convictions and their will to make their vision their way whether it be for good or bad.
Well here's something that I wasn't expecting. I was expecting the film to be good, just not as good as it was. The reason for this is that at the start of the film you come to loathe the central teenager characters through and through, though you do start to like their characters slowly toward the end of the film, especially the character of Moses. But make no mistake, the kids are not heroes. Now there is social commentary about how lower class youth is being treated and how gangs have formed up to help protect themselves from other gangs, though this usually leads to the oldest or the toughest of the gang leading and in turn getting them in trouble due to that the other members want to look cool or just want acceptance. So they'll follow and imitate the others with no regard for the consequences. Remember this as it will come into effect later. What's also funny is that all the gang members, excluding Moses, all come from stable homes though lower class, which just drives in the whole point of them following who they consider to be the cool kid and following his lead and just looking for acceptance.
John Boyega, who portrays Moses, at first is completely unlikable in any form, yet it's when he starts to let his tough exterior down some you find out that he actually cares about his friends, but yet you still know that he's not a decent person, and he does things just for the thrill of it whether it be mugging someone or killing animals (or assumed animals). Now I talked about consequences earlier and this comes into effect with Moses toward the end of the film, as you find out that having killed the first alien he in turn brought down all the trouble that happens to everyone through odd run-ins or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet Boyega does show that Moses is suffering for what he did as his friends are getting killed around him and he realizes that only he can really stop what is happening. Jodie Whittaker, who plays Sam, in the movie is about the one sympathetic character out of the whole cast as she was always at the wrong place throughout most of the film from when she is first mugged by Moses and his friends to actually understanding why Moses is the way he is after seeing how he was raised. Sam though is always the voice of reason through most of the film, yet doesn't shy from having some revenge on her muggers when they come to her for help. Whittaker does a decent job as she doesn't play the role of the usual lady in distress, instead adds a aire of dignity to her character through all that she faces.
This movie won't win any awards plain and simple. What it does do really well is give us a "B" movie that is fun even with a lack of true likable characters. The creature effects for the aliens is really quite genius in its simplicity. What even impressed me more was that most of the aliens are all practical effects with a man in a suit as the alien through most of the film which in turn gives the aliens true weight and space in the movie. I've always liked in camera effects more than digital effects and Attack The Block is a good example of why that is. As for the look of the film, Director Joe Cornish was more than up for the challenge to make a smaller movie and make it seem larger thanks to the different camera angles used and had a good grasp on what should be shown when fights occur after the first half of the movie was done. The one fault the movie does have to me is that the script seems just a tad uneven as the first part of the film just seems to go everywhere, yet when the film gets centered inside the apartment complex, everything just seems to click and starts moving quicker. So if you don't mind most of the characters being complete assholes and bangers the film is actually fun and really funny in parts which helps to lighten the mood that is being built up. And for those that were looking for Nick Frost being a major part of the story? Well he is in it, but he's basically used for comic relief and isn't in the film that much, thankfully he's funny in those scenes.
The four course meal that is Hi-Hatz's face.
Maybe there was a party at the zoo and a monkey fucked a fish.....
Members of the gang compare the film's aliens to various fantastical creatures, all British in origin, namely: Dobby the house-elf from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Novels, Gollum from the Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolken, and Gremlins, who were blamed for electronic malfunctions on fighter planes in WW II which two movies were based on in the 1980's.
In the scene where the meteorite breaks open, a female alien cocoon is revealed director Joe Cornish expressed interest in having it for a back yard center piece.
Joe Cornish also is a screenwriter for the movie The Adventures of Tintin and is working on the script for Antman.