ATTACK THE BLOCK
Modern-Day Moses Saves the Day
Starring: ** Modern-Day Moses Saves the
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 88 minutes
Distributor: Screen Gems/Sony Pictures
Director: Joe Cornish
Executive Producer: Johnny Borgars, Will Clarke,
Matthew Justice, Lucy Pardee,
Tessa Ross, Edgar Wright
Producer: Nira Park, James Wilson
Writer: Joe Cornish
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
ATTACK THE BLOCK has an obviously lower budget with a cast of unknowns other than Nick Frost, who plays a pothead and dealer whose marijuana-filled apartment serves as a hangout for the teenage gangs living in his housing project in London. The movie centers on a night in which scary furry alien monsters crash into the neighborhood and attack humans. The police, however, believe a gang war has erupted instead and handle the situation entirely wrong. One particular gang leader, a black teenager named Moses, leads the innovative attacks on the aliens using an array of toys, fireworks and household appliances to fight them.
During the action, different gangs team up together to fight the evil aliens on behalf of England and humanity. Moses even teams up with a female victim of an early mugging he supervised, seeking forgiveness from her as well.
ATTACK THE BLOCK is often a very entertaining action comedy. It also shows some positive messages underneath the comically scary mayhem. In the end, Moses risks his life for others and finds a kind of redemption as his neighbors cheer his name. The implications of a guy named Moses rising from a low state to lead everyone to safety and then having his name chanted in the end is an unmistakable nod to the Biblical Moses.
Despite these positive elements, some teenagers in the movie are shown smoking marijuana from the local marijuana dealer. The youths in ATTACK THE BLOCK also curse a lot, and use a couple crude sexual innuendoes. In addition, there’s too much graphic violence in ATTACK THE BLOCK. There’s also a light politically correct subtext about the police versus the juvenile gangs and racism against black people. For example, one black teen alleges the police may be behind all the drugs and guns in the neighborhood as well as the alien attack, in order to hurt black people. Most of the action in ATTACK THE BLOCK, however, revolves around the teenagers fighting off the aliens. Also, at an important point, the female victim reminds Moses that his criminal behavior has consequences, and he returns the ring he and his friends stole from her.
All and all, though ATTACK THE BLACK has some moral, redemptive elements, the frequent foul language, graphic violence and marijuana references make an excessive combination. So, MOVIEGUIDE® rates the movie as unacceptable viewing. Some judicious editing and moral intelligence could have made ATTACK THE BLOCK much more palatable and uplifting.
ATTACK THE BLOCK is often very entertaining. It also has some positive messages under its humorous, scary, violent mayhem. In the end, Moses risks his life for others and finds a kind of redemption as his neighbors cheer his name. Despite the movie’s moral, redemptive content, and allusions to the Biblical Moses, it contains an excessive combination of abundant foul language, graphic violence and a pro-marijuana message. This negative content makes ATTACK THE BLOCK unacceptable viewing.