ATTACK THE BLOCK IS THE GREATEST EVER BECAUSE OMG THERE ARE POCS (AND WOCS WHAAAAT!!!) IN MY SCI-FI I THINK WE’RE DONE HERE. THE END. Haha okay no forreal:
I rather unabashedly enjoy AtB so I don’t think I’m the right person to go to if you want a critical glance. As for my thoughts—
Personally, I do not give any fucks for the ~*glamorizing thugs!1!*~ criticism. I have yet to read one that convinced me, let alone really dug into the meat of how they’re glamorizing thugs. Like okay, don’t tell me, show me. Gimme evidence. Plus a good chunk of the one’s I’ve read tend to come off as privileged and sheltered at best, rly racist at worst.
I still haven’t read one that doesn’t come off like “hdu. How dare the director attempt to make us sympathize with these thug hoodie chavs! They should never ever ever be made the hero of anything at all! They have guns and rob
white peopleeee! Featuring societal scum as the hero is irresponsibleeee! WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?! THE CHILDREN THAT AREN’T THUGS, MIND YOU.”
THIS CULTURE IS SO DIFFERENT GET THIS GROSS FUBU SHIT OUT OF HERE OMG I ALMOST EMPATHIZED FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T LOOK LIKE ME ughhhhh GROSSSSS
For me, AtB is this bomb ass film featuring young peeps of color (that aren’t rich and live in an area that in American film would immediately doom the film to being #About the struggle). They get to be the heroes. These people that Hollywood likes to pretend don’t exist (outside of #films-about-the-struggle) are the heroes (and villians! And supporting characters!) of a sci-fi and invasion film!
And the ~glamorized~ argument kind of falls short when you consider the main character arcs. People change. Moses has a moral arc. Responsibility. Redemption. Actions!Have!Consequences is practically anvilicious. Idk, for me, “featuring” and “glamorizing” are two distinctly different things. The takeaway is not #THUGS ARE SO AWESOME, KIDS. THUG LIFE MUTHA FUCKA.
And there was some nice (relatively subtle) stuff in there tackling how the police response is different for White people than it is PoCs. And that bit about Moses musing that maybe the Gov sent the aliens? A little on the nose, but it’s good stuff.
The film definitely carried some social commentary on how ~*bad kids*~ given the right break can become heroes, imo.