Attack the Block

“Here’s some insight on what it’s like to be me. I tend to worry about the mundane. Usually I’m fretting over the details of unknown variables in my future plans (such as right now I’ve been freaking out about moving and what time I’ll be allowed in and who’s gonna help etc). Its not that I’m a control freak, it’s just that I’m a logical overplanner. Sometimes I’ll find stupid things to worry about to distract me from bigger things I can’t do anything about. Or I may worry about something that’s really unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but has the possibility of interrupting my routine.

I’m saying all this because this past week I was worrying about what my second movie for the weekend was gonna be. Fright Night was a lock. But I had minimal plans for the weekend other than packing up the apt and late night High School Musical marathon with the BFF, so getting a movie in both days was more about preventing cabin fever than obsessively trying to see everything out there. However, the pickings seemed kinda slim as I mulled over the prospects during the past few days. Conan the Barbarian looked plain ol’ boring. I’m very loyal to Robert Rodriguez, but the Spy Kids franchise got less good with each subsequent film. I feared that if I saw Spy Kids 4 and didnt like it, I’d still end up buying it to have a complete Rodriguez DVD collection and I’d dread the rewatch. I like the Final Destination franchise but that too has gone downhill over time, and I figured if I was gonna see it I’d wait til during the week to use my freebie. None of the options looked promising.

But then, something great happened. Yesterday morning when I was checking out movie times I noticed that Attack the Block was playing at the common. I’d missed it before because I dont particularly like that theater so I usually dont keep an eye on it. This lil known Brit import was generating a ton of buzz in its extremely limited release. EW gave it a good review. Brandon Routh couldnt stop tweeting about it. My interest was certainly piqued. And on top of that, I’d get a nice walk to and from the theater. Sold!

According to what EW told me, writer/director Joe Cornish was upset that there weren’t any alien invasion/end of the world type movies set on his home turf of south London. He sought to correct that. Frankly, I can totally sympathize. That’s why I’m drawn to Boston movies, no matter how bad they may look *cough*cough*Zookeeper*cough*. So yeah, that’s exactly what Attack the Block is: an alien invasion flick set in south London.

I really liked the setting. Felt reminiscent of a Guy Ritchie movie, just with aliens, and younger gang bangers. I feel like it took the film a while to find its pacing and direction, but it certainly grew on me over time. As the characters were developed (albeit a bit slowly) I did begin to grow attached to some of them. I had some concerns about the humor since Brit humor is typically lost on me. I’d spied Nick Frost in the few seconds of the trailer I watched, and given that I didnt care much for Shaun of the Dead (dont hit me) that’s where the worry came from. But this was certainly a scifi, with maybe just a hint more one liners and such than typical. And most of them, especially the ones delivered by Alex Esmail’s Pest were rather brilliant.

What most impressed me about the film was that while it started off as a typical mass-destruction-kill-all-the-things alien movie, it ended with some very poignant dramatic themes. It was about responsability and consequence, as well as making a statement on the social situation of the area. Very refreshing to see such thought put into this type of flick.

Attack the Block – \m/ \m/ \m/