Friday, 20 January 2017

Attack the Block (2011)

A young woman is mugged by a gang of youths.  They take her phone, purse and jewelry, but then something falls from the sky and smashes a nearby car.  This distracts the gang long enough for the woman to escape.  The youths immediately go to search the now accessible interior of the car for valuables, but are attacked by a strange-looking beast about the size of a chimpanzee.  The gang kill the creature and parade around with it as a trophy, but they're about to find out that there are more of these things falling to Earth, and the second wave is a whole lot bigger and nastier ...

"From the producers of Shaun of the Dead"is not actually much of a selling point for me.  I found Shaun to be one-half funny comedy and one-half solid zombie apocalypse, and somehow significantly less than the sum of its parts because of its failure to synthesise those two components.

That failure of synthesis is important here because Attack the Block also combines comedy elements with a main narrative that's all about the apocalyptic onslaught of dangerous monsters: though in this case said monsters are alien "gorilla-wolf" things, rather than the walking dead.

I'm pleased to say that this film avoids Shaun's failure.  Comedic elements are included throughout the film, and integrated well within the story, managing to both feel natural in how they occur, and to not distract from the tension and excitement of the action sequences.  It's never as funny as the funniest parts of Shaun, but it is funnier more evenly and more consistently.

If inner city kids vs alien monsters sounds at all like your cup of cinematic tea, then this is a film you should check out.

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