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:: Attack The Block

Just when you say ‘they aren’t making any original movies anymore’ along comes a film that makes you eat your words. Sure alien invasion movies have been done before but Attack The Block is so original that it will truly shock you… not in the frightening sense but in the sense that somewhere out there a screenwriter actually had an original idea instead of simply just remaking something done years earlier.

Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is a nurse who lives in a rough area of South London. Actually, she lives in a council building know as The Block. Technically, The Block is ‘run’ by gangster, Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter) and drug dealer, Ron (Nick Frost). Sam’s day is changed for the worst when she is mugged by Moses (John Boyega) and his group of ‘thugs’ who are quickly putting fear into The Block. However, when an alien invasion begins during Sam’s mugging the tough-man Moses quickly ‘wastes’ the first alien, only to then see big and meaner aliens arrive… something the residents of The Block aren’t going to stand for.

Writer/Director, Joe Cornish really is a breath of fresh air. See he hasn’t just created another violent alien invasion film with Attack The Block. Sure there are lots of full-on fight scenes but there is also heart and soul with this film. He tackles some pretty serious topics with the film, including why teenagers end up in gangs like this and brilliant ‘can she forgive him’ storyline between Moses and Sam. The fact that Moses mugs an innocent woman at the start of the film and by the end you are supposed to see him as a hero had failure written all over it… but such is the power of Cornish’s writing that he does it with ease. Unlike most films in this genre Cornish makes sure all his characters are truly three dimensional, he even remembers to include character development. Cornish is a brilliant filmmaker who I can’t wait to see more from.

Cornish also doesn’t rest the laurels of the film on big name actors either. Sure, Nick Frost gets top billing but he really doesn’t have that large part in the film. No, the true stars here are the teens and they all do a sensational job. However, the real standout is John Boyega who not only pulls off the action scenes sensationally well, but, when it comes to drama, he shows that he should be considered one of the finest young character actors going around. Jodie Whittaker also deserves a mention for her fine performance as well.

Attack The Block doesn’t look like the kind of film that a critic would be raving about, but seriously I can’t recommend this film enough. It just goes to show that you can’t tell by the packaging how good the present will be. This ends up being a creative film with some good acting, a great suspenseful storyline and enough action to keep anyone happy. One of the biggest surprises of this year, Attack The Block is a breath of fresh air.