"Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish are best known to UK audiences as the writers and presenters of The Adam and Joe Show, which ran between 1996 and 2001. Attack the Block is Joe’s first stab at feature length movies, following small roles in both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Being a comedy writer, you might expect his directorial debut to be a laugh riot from start to finish, chock full of witty one-liners and casual asides. Attack the Block takes a comical central premise – a gang of hoodies defend their neighbourhood against an alien invasion – but tones down the laughs in favour of exhilarating action and genuine thrills.
Trainee nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is walking home to her flat in a South London tower block when she's robbed by a gang of masked, hooded youths. She's saved when a bright meteorite, which falls from the sky and hits a nearby car, distracts the gang. Sam flees, and the gang are left to take on the small alien, successfully killing it in revenge for an attack on their leader Moses (John Boyega). As a second wave of meteors fall, the gang are forced to defend their turf. The only problem being, this time the aliens are much bigger, and Sam quickly realises that the kids who attacked her could well be her best chance of survival.
Despite the appearance of Nick Frost and the writing talent of Joe Cornish, you’d be wrong to assume that this is a horror comedy. It’s certainly amusing from time to time, but Joe’s debut will best be remembered as a gritty urban sci-fi thriller. With the exception of would-be heroine Sam, this impressive cast of up and coming talent hardly make for stereotypical hero fodder. The fact that the kids try to rob Sam at the start of the movie suggests a darker shade of daring, and Joe is wise to keep the characters real throughout. You will warm to them however as the movie progresses, such is the quality of the acting and writing, and you will be rooting for the troublesome teens as the frightfully gripping final showdown looms.
The gorilla/wolf cross breads are a masterstroke, instantly memorable and genuinely unsettling. With luminous teeth and jet-black fur, they make their presence felt in every scene, despite a meagre budget that could’ve derailed the movie. Joe takes to action like a duck to water though, delivering a series of high paced chase sequences that never fail to impress. With a believable young cast, quotable dialogue, gripping action and tension you can chew on, Joe Cornish has delivered one of the best monster mashes of the last twenty years. Better believe it bruv, this movie is sick." AW