So, you’re probably thinking: “What! Another film about aliens? Isn’t this getting repetitive?”
Don’t worry. If you are a true film lover, “Attack the Block” is going to knock your socks off.
On Monday, Nov. 14, the Magic Lantern team will show an exciting British movie that attempts to improve on the alien/sci-fi genre — and that ultimately succeeds.
“Attack the Block” is set in South London, where teenage Moses and his street gang fight off aliens. The opening credits set the ambiance with an outer space inspired soundtrack.
A few minutes later, we’re directly submerged in the action. It’s Bonfire Night in the city, and a gang mugs young female nurse Sam. While they terrorize her, something lands on the street, smashing into a car. This creates a diversion, and Sam runs away. Moses chases the “thing” into a park, leaving it there to be slaughtered by his entourage.
This violent opening scene sets the tone of the film. These guys are not your typical action heroes. They are thugs who enjoy inflicting pain on helpless individuals — think “A Clockwork Orange.” One of the characters describes them as “fucking monsters.” Extra-terrestrial creatures invade the block, looking for their fellow alien friend who died at the hands of the youths.
Once the confrontation begins, the audience can’t help but wonder who the monsters are. Is it the outer space creatures, or the inner city gang mates?
The director’s interpretation of the script is quite original, and his cinematography reveals this. To portray “the block” as an isolated ship under attack, in which only the inhabitants are fighting for their survival, is actually not so far from the social truth.
Violence, gangs and conflicts exist in these isolated spaces and can be easy for those who are not directly involved to forget. These kids are shown as offensive and violent, but one has to wonder if they are they not just trying to survive in this isolated inner city? The director addresses this universal issue, but does not let it take over the film.
“Attack the Block” is a funny but intelligent movie that creates a modern and believable perspective on British cities and gang violence within a sci-fi setting.