CAN there be anything worse than being mugged on a dark night by a group of knife-wielding hoodies?
Writer-director Joe Cornish aims to show there is in the shape of an army of snarling beasties with luminous fangs. Not only that, he makes the young enemies of society the heroes who protect the community from alien attack.
Attack the Block (Cert 15) opens on bonfire night in South London with trainee nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) walking home alone along a dark street and running into Moses (John Boyega) and his gang, Pest (Alex Esmail), Dennis (Franz Drameh), Jerome (Leeon Jones) and Biggz (Simon Howard) demanding money with menaces.
The assault is thankfully cut short by something crashing through the roof of a parked car and Sam is able to escape while the youths investigate. They encounter a nasty unworldly creature who deserves the fate of anyone who threatens their manor and they dutifully dispatch it, carrying off the furry carcass as a trophy to the top-floor drug den run by Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter) and his dopey doorman, Ron (Nick Frost).
When that precipitates a full-on alien invasion the lads gleefully spring into action on BMX bikes and mopeds with assorted armaments including martial arts swords, baseball bats and a satchel full of fireworks - with their recent victim Sam and posh stoner Luke Treadaway in tow .
The action rattles along merrily with much wise-cracking among the crew (Cornish has come up with some convincing street slang) and the atmospheric night scene captured by cinematographer Thomas Townend, another first-timer. The downside is that the story has few surprises, not helped by the fact the aliens are all the same black furry blob. Still, it’s a British movie that should acquire Shaun of the Dead-like cult status.
lTHERE is a charity preview of Second World War action movie Age of Heroes starring Sean Bean on Sunday in aid of charity.
Age of Heroes is a spectacular thriller based on the real-life events of Ian Fleming’s 30 Commando Unit – an inspiration for the modern day SAS. In the film, Sean Bean and Danny Dyer play members of the elite commando unite as they venture into occupied Norway to capture vital Nazi technology that could turn the tide of the war.
Admission to the special charity screening at Cineworld, Valley Centertainment, on Sunday at 3pm is £5 and every penny raised will be donated to the ForceSelect Foundation – a specialist fundraiser that supports small-scale armed forces charities..
Age of Heroes goes on general release on May 20 and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on June 13.