SXSW Attack the Block Review

SXSW Attack the Block Review

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10


Attack the Block is a movie I’ve wanted to see ever since it screened in London a couple of weeks ago. It’s the first feature film by Director Joe Cornish who you may know from Adam and Joe fame and is Executive Produced by none other than Edgar Wright.

This evening’s screening took place at the Alamo Drafthouse and was a fantastic venue to debut the British film to an International Audience. Being there as a Brit who comes from about 4 miles away from where they filmed was somewhat odd but equally cool! As you’ll see from if you look at the various tweets which have gone out this evening, Attack the Block went down extremely well with concerns the slang used in the movie pushed aside as you’ll see in the Q&A when I get it uploaded.

Attack the Block features a mostly unknown cast who have little or no acting experience with a cast which includes John Boyega (Moses), Alex Esmail (Pest), Franz Drameh (Dennis), Leeon Jones (Jerome), Biggz (Simon Howard) and Jodie Whittaker (Sam). Nick Frost also makes an appereance as Roy, the keeper of a rather large supply of weed in his flat or, ‘the penthouse’ as we come to know it.

Attack the Block is shot entirely on location in Brixton, South London and tells the story of a group of teenagers who find themselves completely entangled in a fight against aliens who fall from outer space.

Synopsis: Attack the Block is a fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London housing estate into a sci-fi playground. A tower block into a fortress under siege. And teenage street kids into heroes. It¹s inner city versus outer space.

Trainee nurse Sam is walking home to her flat in a scary South London tower block when she¹s robbed by a gang of masked, hooded youths. She¹s saved when the gang are distracted by a bright meteorite, which falls from the sky and hits a nearby parked car. Sam flees, just before the gang are attacked by a small alien creature that leaps from the wreckage. The gang chase the creature and kill it, dragging its ghoulish carcass to the top of the block, which they treat as their territory.

While Sam and the police hunt for the gang, a second wave of meteors fall.Confident of victory against such feeble invaders, the gang grab weapons, mount bikes and mopeds, and set out to defend their turf. But this time, the creatures are bigger. Much bigger. Savage, shadowy and bestial, they are hunting their fallen comrade and nothing will stand in their way. The estate is about to become a battleground. And the bunch of no-hope kids who just attacked Sam are about to become her, and the block¹s, only hope.

The twist with Attack the Block is the comedy element which, if you’re a fan of Joe Cornish, you’ll know comes completely naturally to him. Every scene is well shot, well directed, well acted and throughout every line of dialogue you’re waiting for one of the newbie actors to deliver a line that is going to make you laugh and the audience if kept laughing from start to finish with the fantastically delivered lines and comedy timing.

The creatures which have been created for the film have been done using a rotoscope technique that you might have seen in movies like 300 with the wolf fight at the beginning of the movie against Leonidas and also in The Lord of the Rings (1978). You can see Cornish talk about this during the Q&A which I’ve videoed if the movie ever uploads!

I have a feeling that you’re going to be reading rather a few reviews which are just like this one summing up the fact that Attack the Block is an original British masterpiece with so many original ideas and an absolutely fantastic script. Cornish told us that the kids in the movie had all been involved with the writing as well choosing which colours they should be wearing to make the movie more real. This movie has been a labour of love for Cornish who has been working on the movie for a number of years. Just seeing him so excited to be here at SXSW showing his project was a special place to be and I was one of the privileged few who managed to get in to see the movie as many were turned away at the door through lack of room.

I would love to write more about the movie but the 04.25 time on the clock means I’ll have to leave it there! Attack the Block is a movie that you’re going to love and I don’t think that Cornish could have hoped for a better response to his debut movie! Bravo!

If you want to watch the trailer for the movie, you can do so here.

[Rating:5/5]

  • Fengschwing

    I would of preferred it if you could of used the word ‘movie’ a little more in the review.

  • Ratboyjoe

    Are you a tefl student?

  • Bloodyfox

    While I am looking forward to this film, I worry it might suffer from the main characters being unlikeable. Why should we root for chavs who are introduced trying to mug a defenceless young woman?

  • http://www.heyuguys.co.uk HeyUGuys

    I think throughout the movie, there is a forgiveness that comes through the characters which therefore allows the audience to also forgive the perpetrators. But the script deals very well with this issue too.

  • mace

    when are u going to upload the video interviews also how was the film score in the movie by Basement Jaxx

  • Fragglelicious

    “Attack the Block is a movie I’ve wanted to see ever since it screened in London a couple of weeks ago.”

    Most unintentionally hilarious first sentence ever.

  • marktobias

    Where is rotoscoping used in LOTR?

  • http://www.heyuguys.co.uk HeyUGuys

    It’s in the 1978 version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotoscoping

  • Clark

     I’ve been reading all the reviews for Attack The Block because i’m so excited for this movie! I think the boys over at The Reel Movie Show really enjoyed it too. I’M SUPER EXCITED TO SEE IT!

  • Anonymous

    Have just come home from a showing at local.

    For anyone furrowing their brows and wondering why Chavs get to lead a movie get over yourselves. I’ve had years of Russell Brand, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and Zack Gallifianakis outstaying as many jokes as they possibly can so give it a rest. (Martin Lawrence doesn’t count he’s in the realms of negative funny)

    Really enjoyed it. Yep, it’s a movie in which Britain’s least favourite people get to be the heroes and for the most part, it works.
    It’s not perfect, It slaps you around the face with its message occasionally. The gaps in the boy’s dialogue editing near the start are so big you could drive a train through them, so rhythmically feels off kilter. Lads don’t listen, they overlap. Some stunts are just ineptly shot. And the geography isn’t always as well established as it could be. But there are some classic lines to be had, some of the best come from the cast, you can tell. Effects wise, some great practical work (enough to silence the borderline autistic anti CGI crowd)

    What I enjoyed most about Attack the Block was its concept which might on the surface appear to be just Hoodies vs Aliens but for me is about representation. British films of late have been so obsessed with keeping it real that they’ve forgotten what Cinema is all about, escapism, magic & mythology, a chance to be the hero.

    Attack the Block lets someone apart from Alex Pettyfer or Saoirse Ronan be the good guy, and where the film succeeds is that it’s not an easily won title. The protagonists do earn their survival. Though there’s an incidence of a justified kill you’ll spot a mile off. Some of the performances are a little raw but Moses (John Boyega) does a credible job as the leader of the gang of postcode gangstas and even when the film comes to a crashing Don’t be a Menace etc style “MESSAGE!” halt to justify the youth’s actions, I was with him. Although I am suffering secondary, expositional bruising… And boys there IS no excuse. Can anyone say self fulfilling prophecy?

    Aaanyway. Knowing the circumstances behind this film I really hope this does well for all involved. It deserves to do well at the Box Office but even if it becomes a late blooming rental success Joe Cornish has done a bang up job.