The film that shot John Boyega to prominence was definitely one I wanted to see; as I have really enjoyed his performances as: Finn in the latest Star Wars trilogy, Dismukes in ‘Detroit’ and even Jake Pentecost in ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ (even though I didn’t like the film.) Also, with such a short running time, at 87 minutes, I held out a lot of hope that I would be engaged throughout, as I love a concise narrative. Therefore with these two points combined I held out a lot of hope that I would enjoy the film.
What is it about?
Moses (John Boyega) is the leader of a teen gang in South London and even at fifteen he is mugging people and carrying a blade. One night while he is out with his mates, mid-mugging of a woman called Sam (Jodie Whittaker,) an extra-terrestrial object crashes into a nearby car and begins to attack the group. They chase it down when it runs away and beat it to death assuming that is the end of their problems. To celebrate they make their way to Ron’s weed room; however, little do they know that is just the start of their problems. Over the course of the night a plague of mutant alien creatures attack the group and it is all they can do just to survive. But to protect London, and themselves, they must kill the aliens wherever and by whatever means they can.
What did I think?
This film is a lot of fun. If you want something short that you are going to be intrigued by and laugh with throughout, then this is just the film for you. The characters are all great and the story is smart and punchy. I thought that John Boyega is fabulous at the centre of this film and genuinely seems to take himself seriously as a gangster-type character, while also clearly having the vulnerability associated with playing a fifteen year old boy. Moreover, Pest (played by Alex Esmail) never stopped making me laugh and Sam (played by Jodie Whittaker) was equally hilarious but just because she was constantly in the wrong place at the wrong time. The character interaction was snappy and genuinely made it feel like a group of friends not random people assembled to perform in front of a camera. For me this great interplay was what made the film work and meant I was never bored.
As for the narrative I liked that it was condensed to less than 90 minutes as I feel that much more and it could have really lost it’s way. However, to say it didn’t have it’s dry spots would be a lie as sometimes when they were just hiding away from the “monsters” it did feel a little bit dull. Unfortunately, at these certain points there was a lack of real threat, as throughout, the film seemed to designate points for action and others for development in between. Nevertheless as the film was so short, these points were proportionally small, which meant I never dwelt on them for too long and it didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the rest of the film. My only other gripe with this film was Ron, played by Nick Frost, as he just didn’t add anything of real value to the narrative and whenever he was present in a scene; he seemed to clash with the others, which really annoyed me.
My Rating- 7/10
This film is very enjoyable and was a very fun way to fill a Saturday night. For anyone thinking of something quick and untaxing to watch I would highly recommend it. However, my favourite Boyega film is still Detroit without a doubt.
One thought on “‘Attack the Block’ Film Review”
Thanks for the review. I think I’d enjoy this one. Shorter is sometimes better, especially compared to these 2.5 hour marathons that seem to have taken over the cinema. I’ve added it to my movie bucket list.