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The movie begins as we witness a mugging and then slowly, over the course of the movie, you somehow fall in love with the muggers. Cornish expertly expresses his discontent with the cycle of lower class, urban culture while maintaining the film’s comedic integrity. We, as the audience, don’t feel like we’re being forced into feeling guilty for these underprivileged kids and, while Cornish is saying that their background has something to do with their behaviour, he isn’t making excuses for them.
We follow Moses and his friends as they deal with an apparent alien invasion and end up siding with the woman that they had previously mugged. A surprise appearance by Nick Frost, of Shaun of the Dead fame, rounds out the movie. The British slang, adorable corrupted boys Probs and Mayhem, and the epic slow mo fireworks scene make this movie one of my all time favourites.
For a relatively unknown film, it packs a lot of production value. The cinematography is great and there are some beautiful directotrial choices by Cornish. I also can’t say enough about the score, it really keeps the movie upbeat and pulls you into the world of the film even more. The creature design is top notch as well; the little gorilla-esque aliens with their glowing mouths are definetly creepy.
This movie is so fresh and full of life. It is a relatively simple premise but the young actors involved in this film, particularly Boyega, depict the internal struggle of this demographic and generation so well. They have to literally fend for themselves while making sure that they are a strong presence within their young community so they arn’t taken advantage of. There is an interesting line between feeling remorseful for their situation and resenting them for being “part of the problem” and Cornish treads this line carefully.
The movie doesn’t read outright as a social commentary but the sentiment is there. Outright, the movie is filled with action, laughs and the fun that only a movie focusing on teens can bring. It’s a carefree abandon, an invincible mentality, a world in which these kids still believe in their ability to make a difference and be badasses. They have yet to be robbed of their delusions of grandeur and their hopes of being important.
This is a great movie, trust.
Director: Joe Cornish
Writer: Joe Cornish
Stars: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail