Tuesday, September 6, 2011


ATTACK THE BLOCK is an amazing film to say the least.  The movie speeds quickly through its story never stopping to get bogged down with the usual slow scenes of obvious character development.  The monsters are menacing and are extremely violent.  A movie like this if made in the U.S.A. would easily be watered down to a PG-13 rating ignoring all the elements that make this movie great.  A.T.B. is a violent but fun film.  While it was made in the nowadays it feels more like a backinthedays kind of film.  That is because the film puts people and location first and C.G.I. second.  There isn't any large scale car chases with giant C.G.I. aliens busting through huge skyscrapers made from computer wizardry to awe the casual film goer.    This movie's strengths are the characters and how they grow through the night's terrifying experiences.  This movie asks the question "What if the Goonies fought aliens and some of them died?" 

So one of the first things we see in ATTACK THE BLOCK is our lead hero, Moses, mug a young woman.  She is really scared and nothing is played light hearted.  Moses and his crew of young street thugs are incredibly horrible selfish people.  Then a meteor hits a nearby car and Moses is attacked by an alien.  He and his street thug friends kill the ugly thing and take it to their drug dealer friend Nick Frost.  No, I don't remember the characters name.  Let's move on.  There Moses meets Nick's boss, HI-Hatz.  HI-Hatz makes Moses a drug dealer right then and there.  This is another reason this movie is so awesome.  ATB starts off kind of like a drama about a young boy in the city rising through the ranks of organized crime until one day he becomes his own Scarface.  Too bad those awful aliens show up and change this film from crime drama to sci-fi adventure horror.  Moses is an interesting character.  He is strong.  He is a leader.  He is young but he has the eyes of a man who has seen the worst.  It is his gradual change (along with the others in his crew) from selfish to selfless that drives this film from good to great.  When more meteors show up the kids think that they can just go out and kill more aliens.  The first one was small and easy enough to dispense with.  They soon realize that the new aliens are bigger and more aggressive.  So they spend the rest of the movie running for their lives.

Unlike SKYLINE these aliens are easy to make not alive anymore.  Sometimes its almost too easy.  Other times not.  Basically the extraterrestrials are big gorilla bear wolf things with blacker than black fur and glow in the dark teeth.  They can be very scary sometimes.  The kids themselves are indistinguishable at first but as the movie moves on you start to get to know them more.  At first you hate them for being thugs but then they start to grow on you and they make you laugh. It kind of sucks when one of them dies.  Yeah, that's right.  They have a tendency to die and it can be somewhat of a bloody affair. 

This movie kind of reminds me of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in one respect.  In the eighties films from time to time would show things that were a little out of bounds with their rating.  Sometimes it was a small amount of nudity in a PG film or like in the case of RAIDERS people's faces melting gruesomely right before your eyes.  It's kind of disturbing and almost out of place especially for a PG (Maybe PG-13) film.  Even though ATTACK THE BLOCK is a solid R the death of HI-Hatz is particularly disturbing.  It almost too cruel for this film.  BUT IT IS SO AWESOME!  See it for yourselves folks. 

This is not a politically correct film and it doesn't insult the audience.  ATTACK THE BLOCK is a unique watching experience that isn't as predictable as all the other science fiction mainstream movies out there.  It is fast paced.  There really aren't any scenes where they kind of just sit down and talk about their dreams and aspirations so that we know that it is okay to like these people because they are human. There isn't a scene of a main character video chatting on a laptop to his wife and baby daughter to draw us in to root for his survival.  "Oh, no that soldier has a wife and kid.  I hope he doesn't die."  This movie says "F" all that.  The actions of the youth in this film is the character development.  That is how it should be in most films.  Complex feelings can be expressed with a simple look.  You either figure it out or you like TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE. 


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