ATTACK THE BLOCK (Dir. Joe Cornish, 2011)
A breath of fresh air after this superhero/sequel saturated summer, ATTACK THE BLOCK posits a teenaged South London street gang versus an alien invasion with thrillingly funny results.
There's a bit of a GOONIES filtered through the sensibility of SHAWN OF THE DEAD (Edgar Wright co-executive produced) thing going down as the kids race around a grimy low-income apartment building known as "the Block" (as in Block of flats), battling black furry monsters with green glowing teeth that they call "bear/wolf/gorilla motherfuckers."
The leader of the gang is the unsmiling John Boyega as Moses, who seems destined to the life of a go nowhere drug dealer until this unexpected attack puts him to the test. Boyega's crew is made up of Simon Howard, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, and Leeon Jones.
The underaged hoods first encounter the aliens in the middle of mugging a nurse (Jodie Whittaker) on her way home to the same complex they live in. Whittaker gets away as the gang go after the creature and kill it figuring that it's something they can maybe sell on Ebay.
Moses stashes the dead monster at the apartment of deadly drug kingpin Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter), who has a weed selling underling played by Nick Frost (there's some of that SHAWN OF THE DEAD vibe I was talking about).
Despite their prickly first meeting, Whittaker joins forces with Boyega and his boys (boyz?), while the spot-on Luke Treadaway, as a geeky stoner gang member wannabe, also gets wrapped up into the warfare.
The film builds into a chaotic action-packed blast as the kids pull their resources (mostly fireworks) to battle the bunch of bear/wolf/gorilla motherfuckers (just wanted to type that again), and there are tons of laugh-out loud lines (like "this is too much madness to fit into a text!"), every step of the way.
The movie is a bit too dark - not thematically, but lighting-wise - as some shots are hard to follow through the murky shadows, yet its small scale special effects work well enough to serve the story and tone.
ATTACK THE BLOCK looks destined to be a future cult movie, perfect for late night viewings, but don't wait until then - this is well worth seeking out now while it's still on the big screen.