Saturday, 17 March 2012

Attack the Block (2011)

Attack the Block is a 2011 British science fiction comedy horror film written and directed by Joe Cornish. The film stars Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard. Set on a council estate in South London on Bonfire night, the film follows a street gang which have to defend themselves from hostile alien invaders. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2011. Attack the Block is the directorial debut of Cornish.

The Plot

While returning home on Bonfire Night, nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is mugged in Kennington by a gang of teenagers: Pest (Alex Esmail), Dennis (Franz Drameh), Jerome (Leeon Jones), Biggz (Simon Howard), and leader Moses (John Boyega). The attack is interrupted when an object falls from the sky into a nearby car, giving Sam the chance to escape. Moses takes advantage of the situation to search the car for valuables but is attacked by a small creature; the object which fell from the sky. Together, the gang manages to kill the creature. Hoping to gain fame and profit they take it to drug dealer Ron (Nick Frost) to gain advice.

Moses asks Ron's boss, Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter), for permission to keep the creature in their fortified "weed room" while he decides how to proceed. More objects begin to fall from the sky. Eager to fight more of the creatures, the gang arm themselves and go to the nearest crash site. They find the new aliens to be much larger, bearing huge claws and multiple rows of luminescent fangs. While running from the aliens, the gang are intercepted by the police and Moses is arrested, identified as a mugger by Sam who is accompanying the police. The aliens kill the police and attack the van, leaving Sam and Moses trapped inside. Dennis manages to reach the vehicle and drive the van away. While fleeing, Dennis crashes the van into Hi-Hatz's car. Sam runs away while the rest of Moses' gang catch up and they confront Hi-Hatz. Enraged about his car, Hi-Hatz threatens them with a gun, refusing to believe their story of aliens. However, his henchman is suddenly attacked by one, distracting Hi-Hatz and allowing the gang to escape.

The gang attempts to flee to the Block, their apartment building, but are attacked by the aliens, forcing Biggz to hide in a rubbish container and resulting in Pest's leg being mauled. While carrying Pest into the building they see Sam and discover she lives there. They force their way into her home and convince her to treat Pest's leg. An alien bursts into her home and Moses manages to kill it. Sam reasons it is safer to stay with the gang than on her own and joins them. The gang move to the apartment of neighbourhood girls believing their security gate will keep them safe. There, the aliens instead attack from outside, smashing through the window and killing Dennis. As one alien is about to kill Moses, Sam manages to stab it through the head, saving him.

The girls note that the aliens were coming straight for Moses and kick the gang out, believing them to be the focus of the creatures. Outside the apartment they are attacked by Hi-Hatz and more henchmen. The gang manages to escape while an alien pursues Hi-Hatz and his henchmen into a lift. Hi-Hatz manages to kill the alien, though his henchmen perish, and continues his search for Moses. Attempting to make their way to Ron's weed room, the gang again encounter aliens. They use fireworks as distractions to get by but Jerome becomes lost in the smoke and is killed by an alien. Entering Ron's apartment they find that Hi-Hatz is already there. Hi-Hatz prepares to shoot Moses but hordes of aliens smash through the window and kill him. Moses, Pest and Sam, joined by Ron's weed customer Brewis (Luke Treadaway), retreat into the weed room while Ron hides in the apartment.

Biggz, still trapped in the bin by an awaiting alien, is saved by Probs and Mayhem, two children, using a water-gun filled with petrol and a flame to torch the creature. In the weed room, Brewis notices a luminescent liquid on Moses' jacket under the ultraviolet light. Brewis theorizes that the alien which Moses killed was a female, and left a pheromone on him that the aliens have been tracking. The gang form a plan for Sam, who has not been stained with the pheromone, to go to Moses' flat and turn on the gas oven. Before she leaves, Moses forces Pest to return the ring they stole from her, feeling guilty for having mugged her. Sam successfully avoids the aliens, turns on the gas and leaves the Block. Moses, with the dead female alien strapped to his back, rushes out of the weed room and into his apartment. There he throws the female into the kitchen and the males follow. Using a firework, Moses ignites the gas-filled room and leaps out of the window. The explosion destroys the aliens.

Moses is shown to have survived, clinging to a Union Jack flag hanging from the side of the building. In the aftermath, Moses, Pest, Brewis and Ron are arrested, considered responsible for the deaths around the Block including the two policemen who had earlier arrested Moses. In the back of the police van, Moses and Pest hear the residents of the Block cheering for Moses, causing Moses to smile. When Sam volunteers that she witnessed the killing of the two officers, police ask if the locked-up boys were responsible; she says no, these are her neighbors and they protected her.


Attack the Block has received widespread critical acclaim. It currently holds a 90% 'Certified Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has a score of 75 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating 'generally favorable reviews'.[8][9] Scott Wampler of The Examiner rated it A+ and said it was officially the best film of the festival and likened it to other debuts such as Neil Blomkamp's District 9 and Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.[citation needed] Matt Patches writing for Cinemablend said "Attack the Block, even on its small scale, may wind up as one of the best action movies of the year". IGN gave it four stars saying "Cornish directs with the confidence of a seasoned pro" and calling the film "a blast from start-to-finish." Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy awarded the movie four stars, saying that it is "exactly the kind of distinctly homegrown product that the British film industry should be making". Mark Kermode gave a mixed review saying he did not dislike the film, but "wanted it to be funnier" and "needed it to be scarier". Upon its release in the United States, Attack the Block also received critical praise. In his positive review, Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert praised the film's use of character development and the performance given by John Boyega.

On its opening weekend in the UK, the film came 3rd in the box office garnering £1,133,859. In North American limited release, the film has grossed $1,012,223 (£659,040).

The Cast

John Boyega as Moses
 Jodie Whittaker as Sam
 Alex Esmail as Pest
 Franz Drameh as Dennis
 Leeon Jones as Jerome
 Simon Howard as Biggz
 Luke Treadaway as Brewis
 Jumayn Hunter as Hi-Hatz
 Danielle Vitalis as Tia
 Paige Meade as Dimples
 Michael Ajao as Mayhem
 Sammy Williams as Probs
 Nick Frost as Ron
 Maggie McCarthy as Margaret
 Gina Antwi as Dionne
 Natasha Jonas as Gloria
  Selom Awadzi as Tonks
 Haneen Hammou as Bubbles

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