Flick Reviews: ‘Attack the Block’ (2011)

Attack the Block is a 2011 sci-fi action comedy from the UK directed by Joe Cornish. The film is basically about a teen gang in South London who defend their block from an alien invasion.


What drives ‘Attack the Block’ in being a fun watch are the feelings of attachment you get from these characters’ attitude-filled charm and of course, the crazy situations they have to deal with. Joe Cornish’s sci-fi comedy is like your classic old redemption story, only one with aliens, crass and colorful characters. It glows with the jollification of its violence, yet it is one that never forgets the core of its characters as well as their morals. Our sympathies are pulled out of us, and they are all laid-out on this band of misfits. John Boyega and co. are all winsome, and they managed to tap into our sympathies amidst their bandit-like looks. It gives light into the characters’ background, and lets us know why they’re all like thatAttack the Block properly balances two of its main aspects; the gang and the aliens. However, it wisely never exploits the latter for nonsensical fruitless action and instead uses it for a huge purpose that connects itself to the lead character. This certain aspect gets integrated to the story  for the leads to engage in a fight that would threaten their lives. Therefore, making every move of theirs meaningful and fully-realized, and not to mention truly amazing.


John Boyega and co. triumphs, and we gain excitement and joy from their rather bloody efforts to bring out the hero in their unlikeliness. Most specially with the awesome tricks that they pull off. The violence is played out there, but it never looked silly nor comical. Which is surprising enough considering that it is a sci-fi comedy. Nevertheless, its flipping of comical violence into something filled with tension is something to be praised as it tries to be a little more serious than it really looks like. Case in point, the film consists of unlikely heroes that aren’t meant to be likable-yet their flaws and their realization of it made them the opposite of what they really are. Their banter with one another is what makes the film funny, and it all the more gives meaning to what the film really is about; them. The smaller scaling of the action contributes much to the film’s centralization on its characters as we find out what measures they’ll take to defend their “block”. In that the latter’s use is emphasized fully, and is turned into a playground for eccentric badass-ness to ensue. All accompanied by a gang that knows how to blend courage with hilarity and camaraderie with concern for one another. You get some action sure, but you’re going to be thrilled to find out that you actually get to spend more of these moments with the characters than the creatures.



The combination of all of those results into a gory and energized sci-fi comedy. It is indeed a firecracker that bursts into a nutty yet gruesome alien invasion romp reminiscent of Edgar Wright’s films. And well, it goes by the name of Attack the Block, bruv. Believe.


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