Friday, April 13, 2012

attack the block [2011]

to my california bred, u.s.american, ear, the title of this flick sounds a bit clunky. frankly, i wasn't sure what was meant by 'block'. it's slang of course, a british term for subsidized housing, the sort of housing that we yanks call 'the projects'. not that that matters a whole hell of a lot. even the same language, english, is spoken in different tongues. there was a rhythm to the slang that became a tune that was running in my ear all of last night and all of day.

a very enjoyable indie feature that has the same energy and comedy as edgar wright's zom-com flick shaun of the dead [2004]. indeed, atb features nick frost in a supporting role as a lay-about drug dealing dude and is co-produced by wright. and yet, the energy does not come to the level of hilarity as does wright's feature. a small quibble really since this is a refreshing kind of movie.

what happens is this: a young lady walking home from a long shift as a nurse is mugged by a group of teens who are as nervous about committing the crime as the woman is frightened by the crime itself. after the mugging victim escapes an object crashes at high velocity into a nearby car. when the leader of the teens investigates the wreckage -- and looking for whatever he can nick from the demolished care -- he is attacked by an unholy creature that scratches the shit out of the kid's face. the gang chases down the creature, kills it, then carries it off as a trophy.

the teens, and the woman, all live in the block located in south london. the inner-city -- get it? -- meets outer space [i think that was the tag line]. the creature the boys kill is a female alien ready to mate. potential suitors begin crash landing all over the neighborhood and are none too happy that their mate was murdered. the shit, my friends, hit the fan.

not really a new concept. the woman and the teens buddy up to battle the baddies. the cops think that the bodies piling up are the work of the kids -- because they are inner-city, deprived youths [get it?] and frost's drug dealing boss is also trying to kill the kids. why? because of a major hole in the plot. such is the life in movies. sometimes the flicks don't make a helluva lot of sense but are still fun to watch.

i think this is filmmaker joe cornish's first feature and a good one at that. i'd like to see what he does next. the actors who played the kids were utterly believable as kids. a very good job they did. this pic is a strong cup of tea that not everyone may enjoy but if you are nuts for monster movies you'd be hard pressed to find a like kind of entertainment in the movie landscape today.


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