Attack the Block

This was supposed to be a post about my writing, but instead it’s another movie review.

I saw Attack the Block the other night — a movie about British inner-city kids who defend their block against an alien invasion. Rotten Tomatoes says 90% of critics and  74% of the audience liked this film. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m one of the majority.

Between the urban slang, the British accents and the bad sound, we had to turn on English subtitles. Once we did, we found the dialogue was snappy. The main characters were likable. The concept of inner-city, at-risk kids (bound for a bad end) who rise to the occasion and save the day is a good, endearing one. I liked the shift in the group’s attitude toward the middle-class-looking white woman when they discovered she lived in their block.

As a science fiction movie, this had its bad side. The aliens were presented as nothing more than monsters. I have no idea how creatures who seemed to be about the sentience-level of wolves managed to become a space-going species in the first place. Once they did crash-land in London, they chased mindlessly around after the heroes, ripped throats out and spattered blood around. As monsters, they were OK adversaries — as a space-going species, not so much.

Once you get past the campy elements, Attack the Block is a skewed version of the summer alien movie, presented not with stars but with the kind of people you might see in a real inner city. I did like that.