If you’re looking for an airtight plot, forget it. But if you’re curious how sci fi, humor and biting social commentary can blend seamlessly, Attack the Block is a must-see.
When an alien landing interrupts a mugging, the gang turns to attack the creature. Sensing they have something of potential value, they drag their kill to the safest place they know of, the local dealer’s weed room. In exchange the drug lord asks the gang’s leader to start selling cocaine, which goes over like a promotion. And so all is well for about a minute, when the rest of the alien herd swarm in to find their fallen comrade.
In his directorial debut, British comedian Joe Cornish wastes nothing. Every scene reveals character nuance and every prop is used to full effect, comedy or commentary. The gang runs to their respective apartments to gather forces, returning with battle weaponry comprised of baseball bats and bicycles. Between the slang and the situation, much of the humor will be missed by American audiences, like the boys always running out of credit on their phones–“I’ve got one text left! It’s too much madness to explain in one text!” But it’s rich enough that even the least Anglophilic among us can take away a clear message–the level to which the poor are disenfranchised and bored is dangerous, but even criminals bleed. Inside the bedroom of Moses (John Boyega), the gang leader, there are Spiderman sheets on the bed and no adults.
All this would be enough for a ringing endorsement, but add to it the rioting in London and you should be logging into Fandango now. Check out the trailer here.
Lisa L. Kirchner is a freelance writer living in New York City.