If you’re a little bit interested in movies then you know this one caused quite a buzz. So let’s see if it was justified or not.
The movie’s setting is London, in one of the not so privileged parts of the city. Generally about a Block where a small gang of kids is having some fun doing not so legal activities. Suddenly something not so predictable happens and the boys face some not so easy to handle circumstances. It’s aliens who they have to fight to protect themselves, their friends and block.
I had no big expectations for the movie. My greatest fear was that I would not be able to like the characters. Which are these questionable youngsters. And in the beginning that fear was very prominent. What happens is that these youngsters catch an alien, hunt it and ultimately kill it. Without thinking one minute about it. And I would say that’s an accurate picture of today’s youth. Especially for those who live in not so good neighborhoods. It’s not their fault that they became who they are. It’s just their environment that made them go that direction.
The kids bring the captured creature to a friend to hide it. Making plans how to get the most cash from the find. A look out of the window then reveals that a lot more creatures arrived. And these are a lot bigger and a lot more dangerous. Seeing that, our kids go back to their block to find ways to hide and defend themselves better. And there we learn a little more about the characters. That’s when we manage to build a connection to them. It took a while.
It is definitely no kids movie. It’s very bloody and violent. And I would say that it was a good choice to do the movie that way. Ultimately it’s about ghetto kids fighting aliens. It has to be violent. But it also isn’t over the top violent. It all plays in reasonable areas. A positive thing.
The movie also has a critical undertone that hints what’s wrong nowadays. There is this Nurse character who gets ask, from one of the kids, what her boyfriend does and why he is not there to protect her. She replies he’s in africa working for the red cross, saving children there. And the kid says how good that is and why never someone tries to take care of kids like him. Maybe if someone would… all the crap like drugs, criminality… you name it, that happens to these kids wouldn’t have happened. Which is quite a valid point. Not saying that helping people in africa is a bad thing. Not at all. I liked that since it really IS a valid question. Not a pleasant one.
In the end they find out what the aliens are after and forge a plan to get rid of them. What brings me to the action scenes. There are some really cool and well shot scenes. Nothing too fancy though. But good enough to keep you in the game throughout the movie. Every now and then there is some comedy sprinkled in, what makes the movie a not too serious one. Which is good. Technically the camera work and lighting in the movie work really nice. What failed a little bit was the try to give the whole block environment character. I think the movie would have worked a little better if they had worked out the whole environment a little better. So not only the aliens would be a threat but also the building. The Nakatomi building in ‘Die Hard’ is a good example for that.
So my conclusion is that the movie is indeed some good entertainment. The buzz for it was not undeserved since some unexpected things happen in the movie and it manages it to keep you interested in what happens to the characters. That gives the movie good consistency and a good portion of believability. It goes its way without thinking too much. It is what it wants to be.