As a product of its environment, “Attack the Block” is not only the definition of an independent film, but one of the finest films of the year. A true testament to the ingenuity capable by filmmakers under a small budget and limited resources, director Joe Cornish’s “Attack the Block” is that rare cinematic adventure that manages to live up to expectations and surpass them at the same time. It’s one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve had at the movies in years mainly because it’s so competently made and well imagined that it doesn’t require the respective movie goer to do much except watch mankind fight some alien monsters in the middle of the UK.
Character wise, and narrative wise, “Attack of the Block” is a strong contender for one of the best of the year, a take on the old moral that the actions we take part in will always and inevitably have consequences that we may later regret. Hence the tale Cornish weaves for the audience about a city block in Britain and what happens when a lone alien attack triggers an onslaught of invasions. Earlier this year we had the magnificent “Super 8” to remind us of a time when we took adventures with “The Goonies” and Cornish follows up that youthful adventure with his people’s own adventure following around a group of scrapping young ghetto kids in a block of flats who, after a night of robbing hapless folks on the streets, find themselves under attack by an alien. Angered by being marked by the monster, leader of the pack Moses leads an attack on the alien that they slaughter and carry around as a trophy.
Little do they know following this seemingly isolated attack, Britain is being invaded and now it’s up to Moses and his friends to figure out how to get the alien hordes out of their city and away from their loved ones. Most of “Attack the Block” is steadily paced and never slow. Cornish can never find the time to settle down for a bit and thankfully that works as a plus for the film, because one thing it is is never boring. “Attack the Block” is constantly on the move from one situation to another where the fight against the alien horde becomes ever more harrowing and ever more menacing as the running time dictates who lives and who among the characters die.
Along the way we learn a lot about our primate aliens, all of whom operate in the shadows and are about as powerful as you can imagine any alien invaders being. When the group bands together, the adventure quotient amps up considerably and “Attack the Block” is never short on thrills, chills and laughs. Truly it’s one of the most unique alien oriented films of the past few years and I think it will stand the test of time as one of the greater imports to hit America since “Shaun of the Dead.” Simply one of the best films of the year, I loved “Attack the Block” as it’s a wonderfully written and briskly paced thriller that will keep audiences glued to the screen with bonafide laughs and pure entertainment to be had. I highly recommend this to any self respecting film buff.