Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Attack The Block, dir/wr. Joe Cornish, st. John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Jodie Whittaker, Nick Frost

It's probably safe to say Attack The Block isn't going to appear on David Starkey's LOVEFiLM rental list any time soon; after all, does it not glorify destructive, nihilistic gangster culture? Is the characters' vernacular not peppered with Jamaican patois? Such an accusation of whites becoming black might be worn as something of a badge of honour for writer/director Joe Cornish, whose skill in recreating the poetry embedded within the street-level slanguage, not to mention buckets of subtle South London class consciousness, is absolute. Boyega, all buried rage and misdirected swagger, leads a superb young cast against the effectively rendered furball aliens, always engaged, always engaging. Throw in a relentlessly kinetic score, a kind of Widescreen Symphony of Grime written by the Basement Jaxx boys, and at an unashamed 80 minutes long, you've got, actually a pretty patriotic film, a salve for the same kind of genre-movie that Hollywood loves to aggrandise. Most effectively, little calms of character exposition, little hints at back-story, any socio-political commentary is cleverly touched upon with gossamer levity before we're hurtled headlong into the next attack; the result is canny, for deep inside this Creature Feature, there lurks a wealth of subversion.