Sunday, 15 May 2011

150: Review - Attack The Block

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Attack The Block
15 May 2011. Location: Cinema

I didn't expect to like this; the trailer annoyed the fuck out of me.

"Then why did you go and see it?", you ask. Good question. Short version? It had good things said about it by people whose opinion I trust and respect. I'm glad I took heed of these folks, because I enjoyed the film very much.

Yes, the kids' speech patterns irritated me deeply. But I came to realise it's not the patois itself that I find so galling, but all the bravado that goes with it. It's been pointed out in other reviews that by mid-way through the film, the speech is less annoying and you even start to understand it better. It'd be more accurate to say that mid-way through the film, our heroes are shitting themselves, and with the lack of swagger comes the lack of bullshit street-talk. The accents are still there, obviously, but it's not the accents that piss me off. Trust. Isn't it?

Do you see what I did there?

Anyway, director Joe Cornish has made a very good film here. In terms of filmmaking, it's beautiful for the budget they clearly had (seriously loved the lighting during the corridor sequences), and I really liked the alien design. Simple, but beautifully done. Less is more, Hollywood, less is more. The script (if you look past the gang speak) is clean and 'real', and there's more character development than you get in many big movies these days.

Oh, there was a perfect opportunity for an Empire Strikes Back reference in the script where Ron (Nick Frost) opens the door to the gang, only for them to find Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter) already in there holding a gun on them. If that's not ripe for a 'There's nothing I could do, he arrived right before you did', then I don't know what is. I guess they didn't want to cheapen the drama?

And there's not really a lot more to say about it. It puts last year's Skyline to fucking shame in terms of low-budget alien invasion, that's for sure. And yes, I did come to like the characters at the end; which I put down to a) their impressive acting, and b) a well told story.

Don't let that bit on the poster about 'From the producers of Shaun of the Dead' fill you with any hopes, though; it's nowhere near as good as that. Besides, for the most part, a film producer has as much creative input into a movie as the owner of a restaurant does with your meal. It's the writer, director and editor you should be keeping an eye out for. But you knew that anyway, didn't you?

Well done, Mr Cornish, we shall watch your career with great interest…


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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