Attack the Block

“Inner City vs. Outer Space” is a great concept that also happens to be a great movie! And that was not guaranteed! But Joe Cornish is buds with the Cornetto trilogy guys, Edgar Wright also serving as a producer on Attack the Block, and this group loves Tropes, Jokes & Genre, but they also have a remarkably fine ear for genuinely observed human relationships woven in to the mayhem. This movie, which gladly presents itself as a sci-fi adventure slash social commentary comedy, honestly does more with its characters than a lot of movies that would call themselves character-driven. I was touched. I love that.

Anyway I’m very much looking forward to annoying a certain kind of person by classing this in with the new wave Kids On Bikes genre, wherein this absolutely stands alongside Stranger Things, and not just because the kids…are on bikes. Attack the Block is also Kids On Bikes because you’ve got a core group with few smaller associated or enemy gangs running parallel who fall in different age brackets (though all still “young”), and because it’s mostly boys who add in a couple girls later on, and because the central kids start out pretty terrible tbh but grow up over the course of an hour and a half. Also: falling into shouty tumults, makeshift backpack weaponry, and of course: WEIRD MONSTERS.

Honestly, a moment to spend on these loping Vantablack beasties with bio-electric blue chompers, because I love them. I love how simultaneously they look very silly and very cool and kinda cute and can absolutely rip a limb off on camera if they feel like it. I love that kids—spoiler—totally fucking die in this! Real stakes! And I love how that’s also partly a point on how the streets are real shit.

I would also like to spend a moment on baby John Boyega, who is such a star in this. You watch him just like, well that kid could anchor a franchise. And then he got one. Also, a lovely woman who looked familiar whom I now discover is Jodie Whittaker! Well look at that. Incidentally, alien monsters plus low rent London is a combination I don’t think I’ve seen since early New Who, and yeah that’s still real good.

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