“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Joe Cornish / Actors: Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway ... / DVD released 2011-09-19 at Optimum Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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I'm sure that plenty of viewers will be unsure as to the real genre of this film, I myself was completely unsure what to expect and went in with little expectation. This film is what features such as "Scary Movie" try to be, where similar films copy others this film is very clearly a well thought out and quality parody. As our story begins with a character roster of uneducated British youths (chavs as we commonly call them here) the story seems to be setting up an almost "8 Mile"-esque story about the poor living conditions and societal flaws. Then there is an alien. It really happens just like that, suddenly an alien falls from the sky the the leader of the chavs, Moses (portrayed by John Boyega of Star Wars fame) kills it. Then much larger aliens looking like the mixture of a gorilla and a xenomorph. With the stage set our heroes try to fend of the aliens, avoid police, and run from the danger posed by the local gangsters.
Sci-fi, comedy, action, thriller, and almost horror are all genres for this film to fall into with moments hitting hard with their points. In one scene excellent comedic writing, the next a gore filled action sequence, or a suspense filled scene echoing horror scenes from the likes of "Alien". However more then all of this the most unexpected and effective aspects of this film is that even with all of the fictitious parts it still manages to portray the violent and dangerous life that many of these low income teenagers suffer through. Everyone of the teens has neglectful or absent parents, an ill opinion of the police due to how the government stereotypes the teens. When Moses has the theory the government sent the aliens as just another way to slowly kill the poor like, in his words, drugs and guns, it is very evident that there is much more heart and effort put into this film then your average cheap parody.
For one reason or another the urban cityscape has always been an underused setting for Alien movies, especially with directors preferring distant planets, underground labs or locations set somewhere in the wilderness be it dense jungle or deserted islands. Infact the only two films that I could think of which took advantage of this setting were "Predator 2" and "Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest" of which the latter I'm not sure even counts, but either way neither of them were exactly great. However director Joe Cornish would disagree it would seem as with his directorial debut he brings outer space to the inner city.
Opening on a South London council estate on bonfire night were after mugging nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker), Moses (John Boyega) and his teenage gang find their usual nightly activities interrupted by a strange object falling from the sky, which turns out to be a small alien creature. After Moses is attacked by the creature the gang give chase and manage to kill the creature. Now realising they have a chance to gain fame and fortune, they take the body of the creature to the local drug dealer Ron (Nick Frost) to store in his fortified weed room located in their housing block. However soon other creatures are falling from the sky, only this time larger and a lot angrier, as Moses and his gang now find themselves teaming up with Sam and the other residents of the block to fight back against the alien invasion.
Resting on the idea of hoodies (Angry and largely criminal Inner city youths for those of you outside of the UK) taking on aliens from outer space it is certainly an idea which hasn't been seen before and certainly original enough to generate a fair amount of interest on its release, though saying that it has taken me until now to get around to actually watching it. Still inspired by being mugged by similar youths himself Cornish makes plenty of bold decisions with his debut, the first of which being that our supposed heroes are also the same group which we are introduced to as they mug Sam and generally show little regard for obeying any kind of law, especially as they treat the block as their own personal domain and one which they are more than willing to defend against intruders be they the police or a horde of aliens. It is really only after they realise just what they are facing does the audience start to sympathise with these characters, as until this point they are a just another group of foul mouthed and quick to violence teenagers, living by questionable ideals of being gangsters, which is certainly an interesting way of portraying the group who your also hoping will manage to save the day, much less the fact that Cornish leaves the audience to warm to these characters via the redeeming nature of their actions, rather than a sudden change in character.
The gang are a real mixture of characters, from their permanently moody leader Moses to the motor mouthed Pest (Alex Esmail) and bespectacled Jerome and even though on first introduction they might all seem like clones of each other. It is only as the film goes on that their individual character start to come out, almost as if Cornish is trying to make some kind of statement on hoodies on a whole. Still their initial actions which arguably trigger the whole attack on the block does make them far from the most easiest group of anti-heroes to warm to, while their heavy use of gangsta and teenage slang, will no doubt only further put some viewers further off this group, especially for those of you outside of the UK and not familiar with the usual incoherent babble that is normally associated with these kinds of characters (You'd need only look at any of the celluloid Garbage associated with Noel Clarke to see prime examples of this). Thankfully it's restricted to the gang members and only used to the extent of establishing character and not to the point, were you need to dig out your hoodie dictionary to understand what they are trying to say.
Taking the same action plan to alien invasion as the Shaun and his friends in "Shaun of the Dead", the residents all arm themselves with a variety of weapons they have at their various houses, which include samurai swords, baseball bats, fireworks and even an ice skate are but a few of their creative weapons they amass to combat the aliens, bringing a very British solution to the situation seeing how UK gun laws prevent any of them from getting hold of the usual firearms which thier American counterparts would no doubt have handily to lying around and instead relies on their creativity to get the job done. Still this creativity also leads the way to some of the films standout moments, including a chase sequence involving the gang running away from several of the aliens using BMX bikes and scooters to outrun them, while a super soaker filled with petrol proves a highly effective means of dispatch aswell.
The aliens themselves are highly original creations appearing as almost living silloutes, for the exception of their luminous fangs, claws and eyes. More surprising though is the fact that these creations were done using practical effects rather than CGI, which instead is used only to enhance the practical effects, which in a perfect world is how nearly all special effects would be done and the decision to shoot the film like this proves to be especially beneficial to the actors, many of whom make their debut here and by giving them something to act opposite only helps make their performances more believable, than they possibly would have been had they been shot purely in CGI. The infrequent moments of gore however are all shot with old school effects including an effective decapitation, which brought back memories of the bouncing policeman skull in "An American Werewolf in London".
The soundtrack provided by Basement Jaxx is a mixture of dance music and traditional orchestral scoring and perfectly suits the urban setting, while also providing tension when required, especially for the scenes set within the claustrophobic confines of the house block, were even the locations outside of the main building complex are still a maze of concrete and walkways and the soundtrack only helps elevate such a familiar setting to something only more terrifying.
While being slightly misold as a full blown horror comedy in the vein of "Shaun of the Dead", this film is certainly worth a look for fans of alien invasion movies, while still processing enough laughs to help break up the tension and make it more than just an inner city drama with added aliens, as this film oozes enough originality to make Cornish a director worth watching for what he chooses to do next, as this is certainly a promising start.
This was one of those films that divided the SWSt household. When I first saw the trailer for this horror-comedy about aliens landing in a London housing estate, and fighting a pitched battle with some young hoodlums, I said to Mrs SWSt "I'm going to see that"... to which she grumpily replied "You're going on your own then." Sadly, for a whole host of reasons, I didn't see it at the cinema, so grabbed it when it was on offer in Tesco for £3.
Attack the Block is not an out and out comedy (in the way that Shaun of the Dead was) nor is it a simple sci-fi film, so don't go in expecting either of those. I'll talk a little bit more about the script shortly, but if you watch it with expectations of either laugh fest or sci-fi adventure, then you'll be sorely disappointing. Whilst the script is based in sci-fi, it has its tongue stuck firmly in its cheek and even manages to make a few political points along the way.
Writer/Director Joe Cornish wisely takes the decision to keep the monsters mostly hidden in the shadows. Not only does this mean that their shortcomings can be hidden, it also means that he can make them appear more sinister and scary than they really are - just like Jaws did. Not that Attack the Block is particularly scary (neither was Jaws), although there are a few mildly unsettling moments and some tension. On the few occasions you do see them, fully the monsters are quite effective (certainly better looking than the laughably bad creations in Dog Soldiers) and their first reveal is actually rather imaginative. It made have been made on a modest budget, but Attack the Block is certainly not let down by its monster.
Oddly,the monsters are not actually the stars of this particular film; and neither are the human actors. That honour goes to the script. By turns it's witty (there are some great one liners), clever ("you can't blame this on drugs, rap music, computer games...) intelligent (taking sci-fi tropes and transposing them to a London housing estate) and plain old fun. It's well-written, full of insightful observations about 21st century attitudes towards youths (particularly black youths) and youth culture, without ever being judgemental. There's even some digs at the hypocrisy of society (one of the gangster characters telling one of the white, non-gangster characters off for swearing too much!) For something so readily dismissed as a piece of disposable entertainment it's actually quite clever.
Where the script works best is in poking gentle fun at some of the staples of the space sci-fi genre. Running around the corridors of spaceships is replaced with running around the corridors of a tower block; where normally you would get panning shots of impressive metallic, futuristic buildings, you have panning shots of London flats. It's clever stuff that shows Cornish's deep love of science fiction and literally brings Alien down to Earth.
From an acting point of view, things are perfectly adequate. None of the faces in the gang are particularly well-known actors, but that helps convince that hey are a group of people considered the dregs of society by many. The main posse are led by the likeable Moses (a charismatic John Boyega) who despite initially being on the wrong side of the law, slowly morphs into something of a hero. Alex Esmail is excellent as fellow gang member Pest, an equally likeable character with a bit of a motor mouth. Less convincing is Jodie Whittaker as Sam. Whittaker is possibly the weakest link in the script and rather bland as an actress. Whilst other gang members contribute some great banter, they get a little bit lost and are not quite as well fleshed out. As such, when they start dying, it's a little tricky to remember who's gone and who is left.
There's a lot of fun to be had from the bickering and banter between the different characters and this is where a lot of the film's enjoyment ultimately derives from. Attack the Block is also helped by a sensible run time (less than 90 minutes) and the fact that it runs along at a cracking pace. Unlike some films (which take far too long to build background and characters), Attack the Block just gets on with it - less than fives minutes into the film, the alien attacks have already started. That said, it does start to run out of steam a little towards the end.
Of course, if you don't like "silly" films or are not a regular viewer of sci-fi, then you will probably not like Attack the Block or get many of the in-jokes. It's also not a film to watch if you are easily offended. Whilst it's not that scary or bloody, there is plenty of "earthy" language and if you don't like swearing, the dialogue will offend your ears.
Attack the Block is not going to win any awards or even be considered in the same breath as other Brit horror comedies like Shaun of the Dead. Having said that, it's a fun and diverting 88 minutes with a script that is actually a lot cleverer than you might initially think.
The DVD of this only costs about £3 now and you really can't complain about that, even if you only ever watch it once.
Attack the Block
Director: Joe Cornish
Running time: approx. 88 minutes
(c) Copyright SWSt 2013
***What is Attack the Block?***
Attack the block is a British film, the first to be directed by Joe Cornish (who also wrote it). It falls into the categories of sci-fi, comedy, action and horror. It was filmed on Heygate Estate in London and was released to the UK on the 13th May 2011. The film is rated R for creature violence, drug content and pervasive language.
The film is set on bonfire night in a London housing estate and begins with a gang of five teenagers mugging a young woman at knife point. The attack is interrupted when something (seemingly a firework) crashes into a nearby car, giving the woman chance to escape and the teenagers something to explore. It turns out that the object that crashed through the car was an alien who attacks the gang leader. I could give away much more, but rather than spoil the film for anyone wishing to watch it I'll simply say that throughout the rest of the film we see the gang trying to protect their housing block from more aliens.
The special effects in the film are quite good throughout. The fact that it's bonfire night means that there is plenty going on and lighting is used fantastically (especially in the corridors of the block) throughout the film. The aliens are quite simplistic in looks, with the exception of the first (which is female, the later ones are male) but I think this is far better than over doing them as it leaves far more to the imagination (also they are described as being blacker than black, I guess there's not much you can do with black...), they do move well though.
It's well worth noting that the soundtrack was composed (by Basement Jaxx and Stephen Price) especially for the film, so the music really fits well with what is happening. The sound track is full of the kinds of electronic sounds that you would expect from Basement Jaxx and also features some rap and hip-hop.
***Cast and characters***
The cast are all British actors, most of whom I've never heard of before (Jodie Whittaker; a nurse and Nick Frost; a drug dealer, being the exceptions to this) and all play their parts brilliantly. The lead gang member Moses (played by John Boyega) particularly leaves a great impression as the character is quite complex and sullen and the part is played excellently.
The rest of the gang are played by Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones and Simon Howard. Alex Esmail (known as Pest in the film) was a favourite of mine as he has a lot of funny lines.
Nick Frost plays drug dealer Ron, who's boss is known as Hi-Hatz (played by Jumayn Hunter) and a customer of theirs Brewis (played by Luke Treadaway) was another favourite of mine due to his comedy value.
Being a bit of a fan of sci-fi and generally enjoying British films, I thought that Attack the block would be worth a watch. I'm really glad I gave it a go as I thoroughly enjoyed it. In my opinion this film really does deserve 5 stars as I found myself drawn into the film and the characters and cant fault a single thing. The way in which the story developed and the characters interlinked was interesting and although it can be hard to warm to five "Chavs" or "Hoodies" who start out the film with a mugging I did find myself warming to them as the story moved along. While some parts of the film were genuinely scary or left me on the edge of my seat, others were laugh out loud funny. Watching this was 88 minutes well spent for me.
Attack the Block
Attack the Block is a science fiction, action film. It is set in Kennington, England a South London council estate. At the film's heart is a young street gang defending themselves, and their block of flats, against an alien attack that they find themselves caught up in. The film starts with a group of hostile teenagers managing to kill, what seems to them, as the only foreign intruder and they decide to try and sell it for profit, but they quickly come to realise they have set themselves up to become the centre of the immense onslaught, which is what the film develops into.
Actors and Characters
The cast are all young, homegrown talent; they are John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard, and Luke Treadaway. They all play very good parts and should be applauded as it was at no point bad or cringe worthy. My only personal criticism is there are a few too many of the "you get me[s]" and such, after every other line. Although it may be accurate to the local dialect, it does get slightly repetitive and the film could do without half of it. Jodie Whittaker, who is a slightly more established actress, plays a character called Sam, a resident who undeservedly gets caught up in the fighting. Then there is Nick Frost. His character, Ron - a local drug dealer (as expected) adds a little comedy to the film, nothing over the top though as this is still basically an action film.
The aliens could have been a lot worse; they do leave a bit to the imagination. Even though this is at heart a science fiction movie, had the producers gone with a more 'War of the Worlds' style enemy it would somehow seem less believable and realistic. A poor portrayal of the invading force could have really ruined the film. But the creators, in my opinion, have done well. Attack the Block's aliens, in ways could be creatures of Earth, with their gorilla and dog like appearance. This form, combined with the locals' weaponry - including flip knifes and fireworks make it all a more balanced and therefore exciting battle. My only disapproval would be that for the size they are they should be a lot more powerful and harder to kill - but then again they are an extraterrestrial being, so who knows.
The soundtrack is a complete original composition, created especially for the film. It is scored, fittingly, by the South London based band Basement Jaxx and if you are familiar with their work you can hear their trademark kind of sound. I think their mysterious, electronic sound really helps build the atmosphere of the alien attack. There are a few hip hop/rap songs during the movie, Sound of Da Police by KRS-One and Get That Snitch by Mikis Michaelides are the most familiar (I won't recite any of the lyrics for the obvious reason of their hip hop theme). These help remind the viewer what environment they are in (the hostile, gang controlled, council owned estate). Adding these few locally listened to songs, the viewer is brought a little closer into the story, making it more than just another massive budget apocalyptic blockbuster.
This movie has surpassed my expectation; a lot of friends had compared it to 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz', both of which I am not a great fan of. Being British, it was quite refreshing to sit through. It makes a change from being bombarded with movies with the United States' skyline - Monster attacks in New York City ('Cloverfield'), tornadoes in Los Angeles ('The Day After Tomorrow'). It seems to sell its self around its most famous actor Nick Frost but it doesn't need to; the young, relatively unknown cast do well on their own accord. Attack the Block is a really decent watch; funny in parts and action packed throughout. I think it is great right from the very beginning right up to the finish and definitely one to watch more than just once.
Quick synopsis without giving the game away:
Basically we follow a bunch of chavs (bad-bois, layabouts, whatever you call them...) as they proceed to mug a woman and then get attacked by aliens. The police are stumped.
That pretty much is the jist of the film.
I got this through LoveFilm and absolutely loved it. Granted the storyline is somewhat non-existent and it was kind of annoying that they put the characters in such a situation but the characters are what make the film great.
I watched it with a mate (he live in London by the way) and both of us were cracking up.
The fact the film was made to be a comedy with some great 'tongue in cheek' action made for a very good film and both of us came away saying this was the best film we'd seen in a long time.
If it didn't have the likes of Nick Frost in and two 5 year olds trying to be 'bad-bois' I don't think it would have been good at all. It reminds me a lot of Kidulthood to a certain extent but without the drama and complex storyline.
Oddly enough the film does have a bit of a parable embedded into it which was a bit odd (basically don't f**k with aliens)
Is it worth watching? Yes. It is worth buying? Absolutely. I'd suggest its best watched with friends though, I think you'll get a better comedic effect with added banter.
The film starts off showing a woman walking alone in a rough London estate and being interupted by a gang of youths who proceed to mug her, as they finish stripping her of her valuable belongings a car parked next to them is crushed by what appears to be a meteorite. From here the plot develops into a war between a small gang of young teens living on the said block. The film entails laughs from start to finish and have you wondering what's going to happen next throughout.
If you're a big Nick Frost fan and this is why you're going to watch it then please note that his role is only a small one, although one of the main characters he gains less screen time than his fellow actors. I think if you enjoy British films, a bit of childish humour and somewhat far fetched films then I would definitely recommend this to you as it is a real classic.
Star - Nick Frost
Run Time - 88 minutes
Genre - Comedy
Country - UK
Cert - 15
So, after the brilliant 'Four Lions' comes Attack the Block, yet another brave British comedy that dares to tackle our rather negative ethnic stereotypes, this time the naughty black boys of South London getting sent up. Because these rather sensitive stereotypes are often true we are not allowed to even talk about them openly and so why not chuckle away at them on film, the peace offering here. Ricky Gervais seems to have mastered the acceptable art of telling cleverly camouflaged race, sexist and homophobic gags in a way that no one seems to complain about and so why noy a mainstream comedy having ago? As long as you're not blatant and blue-collar about the way you tackle ethnic humor then it seems acceptable.
Attack the Block isn't any of the above in a nasty way and I expect the kids it was sending up absolutely loved it, no doubt quoting lines from the film on their respective estates even tonight. Sadly, though, if a young kid is stabbed or shot in our inner cities we all whisper the same thing on who we think did it. We are usually right. But humor is the therapy on race issues and definitely the start of the solution to draw us closer together, Attack the Block having plenty of that humor and making some sort of a connection, funny to both white and black audiences alike. Let's face it guys. We haven't had any terror attacks here since Four Lions aired and so it must be working, right! Bolder still first time director Joe Cornish (yep, he of the comedy Adam & Joe) wants you to actually like and sympathize with the nasty muggers and hoodies that lurk on many street cornersby the end of his movie, people that anyone who lives in London know all about. Cornish certainly knows all about these thugs. He lived on the same London streets the film was made and was violently mugged, his inspiration for the film. Anyone who has been mugged knows it's tough to get over.
Nick Frost ... Ron
Jodie Whittaker ... Sam
John Boyega ... Moses
Luke Treadaway ... Brewis
Alex Esmail ... Pest
Paige Meade ... Dimples
Leeon Jones ... Jerome
Jumayn Hunter ...Hi Hatz
Franz Drameh as Dennis
Simon Howard as Biggz
Danielle Vitalis as Tia
Michael Ajao as Mayhem
Sammy Williams as Probs
It's the night of November 5th and pretty student nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is walking back to her grotty South London estate when she is surrounded and mugged by some hoodies. Rushing off in tears her attackers are about to pursue her when a meteor like object slams into a nearby car, 15-year-old gang leader Moses (John Boyega) confronted by an alien like creature on the front seat. Moses is territorial to the extreme and no alien is going to be allowed to upstage him on the block, chasing it down with the BMX 'boiz' and quickly slaying it.
This bravado not only raises his status in the posse but attracts an unexpected revenge from above, the block soon under attack from much bigger and nastier black fury aliens with luminous teeth, more fur and fireballs soon pinging into the estate. But its hard to convince you parents and friends of an alien invasion from the sky on bonfire night and so the boys must tool up to take back the block. As uncomfortable and ironic as it is, Sam knows she is safest with the gang that robbed her as the body count rises and the monsters cut of their escape, two coppers already consumed by the visitors and the rest of London oblivious to their plight. And there's another problem, that of local drug kingpin and gold tooth thug 'Hi Hatz' (Jumayn Hunter), who is determined to take out anyone he thinks threatens his patch and business, be it angry snarling aliens or wannbe drug dealers like Moses and his gang.
I knew this would be funny and it was, a fearless comedy that dares to tackle gang criminality in underclass Britain with both comedy barrels. Hollywood has never had any problem in sending up its racial divide and most black actors in America would have appeared as a hood or a drug dealer at some point in their careers. But in Britain filmmakers have always seemed scared to go there, regardless of the comic potential of the hilarious 'street' Jamaican patois the gangs use and the absurd posturing that goes with it. I recall Dr David Starkey had something to say on that one. One recent report even suggested young black boys find doing well at school being soft and feeble?
Although this is a comedy with no pretensions to be clever I think it is quite observant and hits a nerve or two. The director said that when he was mugged the black boys were just as scared as he was, the robbery clearly more about bravado and the boys proving themselves to the gang than for fiscal gain. Most of the deaths in London are nearly always about boys being in the wrong postcode or estate than an argument over selling drugs. This movie exudes that added pathos of just how lonely these kids are when they reject the system and that seems to add to the jokes and big set pieces. I know I'm perhaps over complicating what is essentially a hybrid of Ali G culture comedy but this film is not just another worthy lottery money tax dodge for me. Who knew Adam from Adam and Jo could make me laugh.
Cast wise the kids are great and very funny, John Boyega genuinely quite scary looking in the lead. Jo Cornish is very skilled in the way he gets us to like the gang leader. Nick Frost occasionally pops his gormless head around the door but mostly in it to attach a name to the film to get it made, Cornish returning the favor for letting him appear in the brilliant Shaun of the Dead. Jodie Whittaker is perhaps the character that doesn't quite work as the chances of a nice white middle-class student type wanting or, indeed, getting a council flat in a tower block is zero. But the director needed her to contrast poorer London with richer London in the film and so here she is, the point being white London knows little of ethnic ghetto London and so they wouldn't even know if there was an alien invasion south of the river. If ET does finally gets his phone best not wave it around here.
The pace is relentless and Cornish enjoy flipping around those wannabe gangster cool clichés and absurd chav behavior you get with boys who think they are men. It looks great for its £14 million budget and the cheesy tongue-in-cheek especial effects feeding more laughs, determined not to be serious in any way. But the biggest plus is Danny Dyer isn't in it. Sorted!
The Guardian - "This fabulously inventive debut feature, written and directed by the British comedian Joe Cornish, never flags".
The Independent - "Employs its sci-fi tale to wrestle with issues of race and class structure -- the sort of deep thought lost on Hollywood kingpins like Michael Bay, whose idea of sensitive racial exploration was to create Amos 'n' Andy robots for that Transformers flick".
The Seattle times - "Attack the Block wants us to believe that its heroes aren't all that bad . . . once you've given them your wallet.
Film4 - "Attack the Block attacks the alien invasion genre with wit, energy and a cheeky insolence that makes it out of this world".
Imdb.com - 6.8/10.0 (14,567 votes)
Metacritic.com - 75% approval rating.
Rottentomatos.com - 89% approval rating
Director: Joe Cornish
Writer: Joe Cornish
Stars: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker and Alex Esmail
Attack the Block is the directorial debut of Joe Cornish (of Adam and Joe fame) - it is billed as a fast paced urban sci fi comedy. The only recognisable actor is Nick Frost with the rest of thecast made up by unknown actors.
Aliens attack planet earth and the only ones who can save us are a group of juvenile delinquents dressed in tracksuits and hoodies. It is bonfire night in the UK and the thousands of fireworks filling the night sky do well to hide the fact that the world is being invaded by aliens. The aliens have decided to start their invasion in a generically grimy London council estate. The only people who seem to realise that the invasion has started are a group of teenage thugs who unwittingly kill a baby Alien. The aliens "friends" then converge upon the block to reap revenge on their friends murderers. But there can be only one victor in this battle who will it be?
I do not normally include spoilers in film review but feel compelled to in order to effectively convey my feelings on this film.
I have to say I really did not like this story at all. Opening with a mugging of a defenceless woman by a group of stereotypical teenage chavs, that seem to be omnipresent on Britains streets at the moment, I was hoping this would be a film whereby these wholly despicable characters were destroyed by the Aliens. How wrong I was. The film follows the teenagers as they kill a baby alien and then are pursued throughout the block by other vengeful aliens - unfortunately the humans triumph. The only pleasure I got from this film was seeing a couple of the chavs being caught between the ultraviolet glows of the aliens jaws.
From the first few minutes of the film I despised the leading characters and despite the films best attempts this opinion did not change. Whilst I thought all of the actors played the"hoodies" very well and I cannot criticise the acting I found myself cheering for the aliens. The ridiculous teenage patois that they were talking in was really grating it was all "innit" "cuz" and "blud" although I have to say that I found this funny in places but I am not sure that was the intention. Nick Frost is wholly underused being in only a few scenes and his presence normally guarantees a few laughs but there were none.
I felt the aliens were suitable creepy for what is a low budget British film without Hollywoods millions and high tech CGI. On the whole for a Brit flick the filming was rather slick.
The Message (sorry this is a bit of a rant)
I never thought I would have such strong feelings about the message of a light hearted comedy Brit flick but here we are. The film seems to be attempting to make us feel like we mis-judge all of the chavs we see hanging around street corners. How sorry I was to see these cretinous kids hailed as heroes at the end of the movie. There were a lot of clumsy instances of the writers trying to say that the reason they were out mugging people and selling drugs was because they were from a poor background, they have none existent parents, have been failed by the government etc. As someone who grew up on and still lives on one of the toughest estates in the West End of Newcastle I find it hard to accept this as an excuse for mindless thuggery. It was clear right the way through that the characters thought their behaviour was fine with no sense of the accepting responsibility for their own actions. There were 2 particular moments that really jarred with me the first being the point when the muggers handed the girl they had attacked her ring back (begrudgingly I might add) and she said thank you!!! Thanks for giving me back the thing you stole from me at knife point not 2 hours ago - I think this was meant to make us feel aww see they're not all bad but this just left me feeling more annoyed. At the end of the film the girl that had been mugged at the beginning of the film was praising her attackers as they had went on to "save" her - ridiculous she should have let the Aliens get them. The next instance that stuck out was when the lead character Moses began pontificating that the aliens had been sent in by the government because the population of theblock were not killing themselves quick enough with drugs and guns - argh.
I was galled at the way the police were portrayed in this film - being that they were shown as incompetent and "always arresting the wrong people". The wrong people! You are selling drugs and mugging people at knife point - I don't care if you have just saved the world.
I am sure many people reading this will think I have taken the film too seriously, my boyfriend certainly thought so and said he wholly enjoyed the film, but it the message and characters made it absolutely impossible to watch in anything other than frustration.
On the whole I have to say I hated this film and cannot help but think that it does nothing other than glorify the mindless thugs that prowl the streets and I really worry about the message this sends to young kids.
I would have given it 1 star but the Aliens were very good so have given it 2.