Attack the Block
While making her way home one night, Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is mugged by a gang of teenagers who live in the area: Moses (John Boyega) , Pest (Alex Esmail), Dennis (Franz Drameh), Jerome (Leeon Jones), and Biggz (Simon Howard). As the robbery is taking place a creature falls out of the sky and attacks Moses. Enraged, the gang turns there attention to seeking out the creature and destroying it. Feeling like kings of their block, the boys keep the alien’s corpse as a trophy. Little does the group know that the real battle is about to begin.
In many ways Attack the Block is exactly the type of alien film I wish was around when I was a younger. Although I enjoyed other youth centric alien films, such as Super 8, I found that I identified with the teens in Attack the Block more. I grew up with individuals who constantly got in trouble with the law and never saw themselves as being responsible for their actions.
Despite being alien invasion film, director Joe Cornish has two clear themes running throughout the film. The first is that every action has a consequence and everyone, no matter what situation, needs to be accountable for their actions. The second is in regards to how the youth in the slums view gang life and society in general. Moses in particular sees his gang as his family. He constantly makes references to how he is mistreated by the cops and how other people view him and his friends as a black mark on society.
Although the film touches on greater social issues, Cornish never loses sight of the fact that the film is first and foremost an action-adventure film. The creature designs for the aliens are outstanding. It not only gives the film a big budget feel, but also a genuinely terrify villain. The pitch black gorilla-like bodies coupled with the neon blue teeth are definitely unique. In a summer that has been bogged down with uninspired sequels, Attack the Block is truly a breath of fresh air.