Attack the Block: The Movie You Didn’t Know You Had to See

A few days ago, I went to go see a film called Attack the Block. Now, I had high expectations for this film but that’s because I have lots of film friends who know about movies like these. However, I’m going to assume that a lot of you will have never heard of this film.

Well, now that you have GO SEE IT. It’s a British film about a gang of teenagers living in South London who, after an alien invasion, risk everything in order to save their apartment complex (or “Block”) from the invasion. It’s a film that attempts to dig into the deeper issue of class and race stereotyping at the same time that it portrays itself as a fun, thrilling alien invasion film.

The film does something right off the bat that I think most people and film executives would consider movie suicide – the film asks you, almost right away, to identify and like a group of teenagers, mostly black, who have just mugged a young, well dressed white woman at knife point. Their mugging is interrupted by a flaming something crashing into the adjacent car and tearing through the roof. The woman runs away, completely distraught, while the distracted boys then try to see what is in the car.

Moses, the ring leader of the gang, gets into the car and finds himself face to face with a strange, furry white beast. He chases it down and kills it. This begins a chain of events that force them and the woman they mugged, who happens to be as poor as they are and live in the same building, to work together to save their apartment building.

It’s a study in understanding how disaster forces people to get over their preconceived notions about one another, and how the impression of class as opposed to actual financial status plays a part in the day to day interactions between people of all races and social statuses. In the end we are introduced to several types of people, from all different backgrounds, all trying to save the Block.

In the wake of the London Riots, I think this film is even more relevant than it was in May, when it premiered in Europe. These class issues have been boiling for years, decades even, and this is one film that does a very good job of highlighting the tension while still creating a fun and thrilling experience.

If you can find it in your city, I would highly suggest going to see Attack the Block.  If for no other reason than it has Nick Frost (of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame) as a long haired pothead. You won’t regret it (unless you are squeamish).

3 Responses to “Attack the Block: The Movie You Didn’t Know You Had to See”
  1. Sounds really cool. I have to check it out some how.

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