I always like to check out the other reviews before I submit my opinion of a movie on IMDb. And what I found while checking through the other reviews of ATTACK THE BLOCK here is that if the reviewer likes the film, everyone else tags the review as not helpful, and if the reviewer hates the film, usually taking the film's plot points out of context or just plain misrepresenting what happens in the film, then everyone finds the review helpful.
Here's the thing - the question is, "Was the above review useful to you?" Is is NOT "Do you AGREE with the above review?" Right, now I've set the scene for everyone here to find my review not helpful, I'll press on ...
I like ATTACK THE BLOCK ... a lot. I liked it when I first saw it on Channel 4 in 2012 and I've watched it again a couple of times since, the most recent being last night. It never fails to entertain me.
I will however take issue with a couple of the other reviews here ... for example:
"The girl they tried to rob and rape comes asking for seconds". Nonsense. No one tried to rape Sam, at least, not in this movie. The reviewer might not like the characters - I don't like them much either - but no need to try to prevent others from watching the film by misrepresenting what happens on screen.
Another reviewer says that having the protagonists not apologise for mugging her "drives a huge wedge between them and the audience". But to do that would have been lazy writing on Cornish's part, turning essentially irredeemable characters in to "tame" cuddly nice guys. This kind of inner city feral teenagers are not nice people. They are what they are, not what you'd like them to be.
The same reviewer says that "The police are especially hard done by, they are portrayed as totally corrupt and not to be trusted under any circumstances". This is simply not true. The only two police officers who have anything to do here are the two who arrest Moses for mugging Sam. Which he did. We saw him do it. If he claims he's an innocent victim of a brutal police force ... WE know he's lying. So how are the police hard done by? I'm mystified.
Same reviewer finds "disturbingly strong misogynist atmosphere" because "The only criticism they (the boys) face is from weak female characters who are unable to defend themselves, and who rely on the various male gang members for protection from violent outsiders." Gee, I dunno, looked they were doing okay, when Tia and Dimple take down an alien with a standard lamp and an ice skate. Didn't need much help from the boys ...
A reviewer from the US says, "we're supposed to not like these street punks at first, and then admire them as they redeem themselves". Nope, that's only in Hollywood movies. I don't think Cornish expects you to like these characters any better by the end of the movie. But what we do see here is a glimmer, the slightest chance, that these characters might be able to turn their lives around. What we don't know is whether they will take the opportunity.
A reviewer from South Africa says, "The dialogue was apparently authentic, but it sounded made up, like the droogs' language in A Clockwork Orange." Yes, the dialogue IS authentic. I live in Tower Hamlets (on the north side of the river from Oval) and that's exactly what the feral teenagers talk like. So I'd say the issue isn't with the dialogue, it's with the reviewer. It only sounded made up to that reviewer. So they're essentially criticising Joe Cornish for being accurate.
But enough ...
ATTACK THE BLOCK is just exactly what it looks like. A low-budget, cleverly-written alien attack movie set in the inner-city, deprived area of South London. The lead characters are products of that environment. Marginalised teenagers who have somehow become convinced that education has nothing to offer and that the only way out of their situation is low-level crime and, very likely, an early death. They're not heroes. They're not redeemed by the events of the film. You CAN not like them, and it's doesn't make any difference. But they are characters I recognise ... raw and authentic. I wouldn't say they're Real, because they're aping the mannerisms of US rappers, but that IS how the kids down my endz act.
Don't take it so seriously. ATTACK THE BLOCK is not a searing social document. It's not a hard-hitting indictment of our times. It's just a bloody great sci-fi action movie. Stop criticising it for what it's not ...
13 out of 14 found this helpful