Neighbourhood watch

Undated Film Still Handout from Attack The Block. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photos/Optimum Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from Attack The Block. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photos/Optimum Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Attack The Block (15)

Starring: John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard, Jodie Whittaker, Nick Frost, Luke Treadaway, Jumayn Hunter

Director: Joe Cornish.

Running time: 88 mins

Time and again, when extraterrestrials invade Earth, they choose the trigger happy United States of America as the point of inception.

And every time, there is a square-jawed hero, striking a pose in front of the Stars And Stripes, who single-handedly repels their otherworldly advances.

So in Attack The Block, a riotous action comedy from writer-director Joe Cornish, the aliens descend instead on an unsuspecting south London council estate.

The terrified residents of the capital should be no match for slavering beasties with luminous fangs... except the invaders don’t count on local knife-wielding hoodies with a serious attitude problem.

The wolf-like creatures soon realise that their devastating speed and strength are no match for the lads, whose merciless fighting instincts have been honed on their PlayStation and Xbox.

In space no one can hear you scream but in south London they can... they just choose to ignore you.

Trainee nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is mugged on her way home by wayward lads Moses (John Boyega), Pest (Alex Esmail), Dennis (Franz Drameh), Jerome (Leeon Jones) and Biggz (Simon Howard).

The assault is thankfully cut short by a meteor shower and when the youths investigate, they come face to snout with a creature from another world.

Attack The Block has the potential to be one of the surprise hits of the summer, boasting energetic action sequences in and around the tower block as well as hilarious one-liners.

Transforming young people, who are demonised by society, into the unlikely saviours of the hour is a nice touch.

The young cast, mostly first-time performers, have an appealing rawness in front of the camera. For every generous splash of blood or edge-of-seat shock there is usually a belly laugh to dissipate the tension, whether it be one of the younger boys on the estate trying to create a rough and tough alter ego (“Me name’s not Gavin, it’s Mayhem!”) or one of the hoodies whipping out his mobile phone to message friends and whimpering: “This is too much madness to explain in one text!”

E.T. wanted to phone home but humans SMS.

Rating: HHHHI