21 September 2011

Attack The Block (Blu-Ray Review)

By Sam Hearn

Director: Joe Cornish
Run Time: 88 Minutes 

The directorial feature debut of Comedian and Radio Broadcaster, Joe Cornish is quite possibly one of the funniest and ballsiest debuts in recent film history.

It's Bonfire Night in South London. And in the midst of the celebrations, a gang of youths rob a young nurse called Sam (Jodie Whittaker). Just as they are about to flee, a meteor crash-lands nearby. With Sam escaping, the youths investigate the meteor. When suddenly, they are attacked by a small, ferocious alien. After eventually killing it, they parade around in celebration. But their bragging is very short lived as more and more meteors crash, bringing bigger, meaner aliens looking for blood.

Attack The Block is an entertaining watch. Throughout, Cornish delivers the perfect blend of tense, action packed set-pieces with laugh out loud comedy. You can see the influences and inspirations for the film in every shot, camera angle and overall feel of the film. From Ridley Scott and Walter Hill to John Carpenter and Joe Dante. The film also takes a number of big gambles. The most notable being for the audience to back kids who at the beginning, mug a nurse. 

But as the story progresses, they slowly earn redemption through their actions. The main cast are a brilliant bunch of young actors who - with Cornish's direction make their characters their own and less of a caricature than the script sometimes suggests. The one who stands out the most is gang leader, Moses, played by John Boyega. His quiet demeanour and charisma give the character an almost Clint Eastwood feel to him. The comic relief definitely comes from the character, Ron (played by Nick Frost), a drug dealer who gives his view on the night's actions and the youths themselves.


It isn't a perfect film by any means. Some of the scenes with the aliens are a bit lacklustre and some characters really seem to be in the film's narrative for no reason.

But that shouldn't stop anyone from watching what is a truly great film. Cornish directs with a swagger that makes it seem as if he is a seasoned veteran behind the camera. Very much like Edgar Wright with his debut, Shaun of The Dead. It's proof that you don't need a Hollywood budget and big locations, to create a blockbuster.

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Special Features:

Disc 1:

  • JUNIOR COMMENTARY - Joe Cornish with John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Simon Howard and Leeon Jones
  • SENIOR COMMENTARY - Joe Cornish with Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway and Nick Frost
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCER COMMENTARY - Joe Cornish with Edgar Wright

Disc 2:

  • Featurettes: Behind The Block, Creature Feature, Meet The Gang, Joe’s Massage, It’s A Rap, Unfilmed Action
  • Trailers

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