Wednesday, 18 May 2011

3 Reasons Attack the Block Doesn't Work

Before you throw rotten fruit and put me in the gallows, let me first explain that I adore Joe Cornish. Having been an avid fan of the Adam and Joe TV and radio show since a wee nip, I feel a very special affinity with the 2 uber-geek comedians. It then pains me to say (as predicted in a previous post) that Attack the Block is just 'so-so'. Let me explain.

1. The Story's Rubbish - I know it's unfair to expect an Alien invasion movie to have a plot like Citizen Kane, but when the backstory feels like something they came up with on the day, the whole film is reduced to a shallow exercise of 'what looks cool'. The Thing, Aliens, Predator - all have intriguing and compelling origin stories, and therefore we yearn to know more. Apart from being aggressive and horny, there is nothing to the aliens in Attack the Block. Which conveniently leads me to my next point...

"They're, like, floaty plant creatures."

2. The Aliens Aren't Scary - This would be fine if the movie concentrated more on being a comedy rather than a horror film. However, the film sacrifices comedic moments in order to shock it's audience, but the only scares the film achieves are cheap 'jump' tactics. The aliens simply don't have the realism or threatening appearance to warrant any serious horrific moments. I want my aliens to look like ugly motherf*ckers, rather than a stylistic cartoons.


3. Unsympathetic Characters - Even though the young cast of unknowns are extremely impressive, I really didn't care when one of them bit the dust. This is mainly due to the fact that 'the youths' mug and threaten a woman with a knife at the beginning of the film. I know we're meant to see past their faults as fragile insecurities of growing up in a harsh South London, but 88 minutes simply isn't a long enough runningtime to demonstrate this turnaround. Even the supporting cast are a bunch of unsympathetic cannon fodder.

Nick Frost's character: bit of a dick

Don't get me wrong, it's a fun movie with some great dialogue and booming soundtrack. But perhaps Cornish should have spent more time crafting his own story, rather than creating a hybrid film that satisfies neither the alien, horror, or comedy genre.

Note: I should win a f*cking award for not mentioning Shaun of the Dead.