Thugs Is Heroes, Yeah?


by James Killough

“That was really good,” my friend Mike Poursh said the other night as the end credits were rolling after Attack The Block.  “I enjoyed it.  How come it isn’t more popular?”

“It’s in a foreign language,” I replied.  Which was just me throwing an easy zinger in there because Block is in English, of sorts.  Or rather, it’s in a heavy-duty teen slang “Sarf” London quasi-dialect, which isn’t properly speaking cockney because that comes from the East End of the city, which has it’s own particular cultural references you should trample on at your own peril.  Regional linguistic quibbling aside, the dialogue is probably too difficult to follow for many Americans outside sophisticated urban environments.  And that’s why it’s not playing in every cineplex around the country and raking it in as a sleeper hit.

We can be heroes... but just for one night, yeah? Just to fuck up dem aliens 'n shit, show dem we own dis here block. Trust!

That’s a shame because Mike is right: as far as summer creature features featuring teens on bikes who save the world against alien invasions go, Block kicks the shit out of Super 8, and does it with gusto, toking on weed, wielding baseball bats and samurai swords, and wearing hoodies.  Block was made for $13 million, Super 8 for a reported $50 million, which doesn’t include print and advertising.  I’d tack on a good $25 million more onto that fifty mill, but it doesn’t matter; Super 8 has already made a quarter billion worldwide.  Block has only made $4.5 million, and I have yet to find a friend in London who has seen it.