Attack the Block
ranks right up there with District 9
as one of the best alien invasion films in years (I personally prefer it to District 9
, but you could make an intellectual case for either), and it’s right on time, because 2011—the year of Super 8
and Battle: Los Angeles
—has been the worst year for alien invasion films in recent memory. It easily could’ve been a schlocky B movie with a somewhat interesting gimmick (aliens invade the projects of London and inner-city youth have to fight them off), but Joe Cornish’s sharp script and deft direction make it a genuine thriller, with real stakes and a seemingly limitless supply of energy. Attack the Block
is packed from beginning to end with ridiculous, glorious mayhem. There are enough samurai swords, car chases, gun battles, and shock-jumps to fill three less-ambitious invasion movies. The aliens are suitably, startlingly alien—and they’re vicious buggers, too, keeping the stakes high all the way through. It’s probably the best blockbuster you’ll see this year, and you’ll never even notice that it wasn’t produced on a blockbuster budget.
by Paul Constant