Alien invasion meets gangland wars, pure entertainment at its finest. Joe Cornish's first directorial effort is an exciting, fun thrill ride. Full of exuberant life that is what you love to see coming from a indie debut. But what I was surprised by most was the level of genuine, mature emotion in the midst of the visual, hilariously lighthearted aggressiveness that made this film such a wild time.
A gang of youth hoods mug a women returning from work, right after the mugging a mysterious creature from outer space crash lands in "The Block" in South London. The gang chases the creature down and kill it which leads to ensuing invasion. This gang of teenagers, and a pair of elementary age aspiring criminals, lead by their leader, Moses, find themselves in a war with larger, much more violent alien creatures in the campy setting of a single suburb in London. 10 minutes in and you can already sit back and enjoy 80 more minutes of gory action and easy-going fun.
Lead by the performances a group of teenagers who bring complete authenticity to their roles as young thugs. Their dialogue is a hilarious and endlessly quotable slang language. John Boyega's performance as Moses has a maturity and emotional presence that is a great surprise film that is full of such delightful absurdity. The strength of his performance is one of the most lasting joys of the entire film. Jodie Whitaker plays Sam, an innocent resident of the Block who gets caught in the midst of everything. Nick Frost also makes a nice little appearance local drug dealer, Ron.
Putting teenaged characters in such mature, and surprisingly violent situations is always a risk. Considering the age of the characters, the gruesome ways some of the are killed by the rabid alien creatures feel slightly morbid, but it is saved by this film's entertainment value that makes it hard to criticize it to any real extent. Cornish knows the perfect ways to make his inspired little film work. Full of action and campy B-movie horror charm that is as addictive as it is ridiculous.