While Marcus (Josh Myers) leads his gang of multiracial cardboard cutout, bish-bosh-bash, diamond geezer armed robbers on a spree of daring smash-and-grab heists of upmarket jewellery stores across London, trousering bling and ‘aving it large, as his sensitive younger brother, street artist Dee (Gregg Sulkin), a rising star of the fictional hipster art-wank scene of 30 years ago, earns good reviews and commissions for his provocative graffiti murals and Banksy-style subversive stencils.

With his supermodel American girlfriend Kirsten (Meghan Markle) and the offer of an arts residency in Berlin under the paternal eye of his German dealer, Dee has it made, is set to escape the dangerous ghetto streets that formed him. Marcus is also on the rise, making moves on the street and muscling in on the local drug scene with the backing of old-school gangster Chris (Doug Allen).

But when rivalry with a local crew escalates into violence, rape and murder, Dee finds the promise of his new life slipping through his fingers as he’s dragged into Marcus’ dangerous world.

Written and directed by Reg Traviss, a man who couldn’t write “FUCK!” on a dusty Venetian blind and couldn’t direct message, Anti-Social is perhaps one of the worst films I’ve seen since, well, since Traviss last made a film, 2011’s warts-and-all tale of dodgy prison officers, Screwed. Based on a true story in much the same way as a Dear Deirdre’s Photo Casebook, Traviss has drawn on a series of real-life smash-and-grab raids committed by a gang of armed robbers (among their exploits entering an exclusive jewelers disguised in burquas) and a conversation he’s obviously had at a dinner party where someone has told him that street art is hip, happening, anarchic and anti-establishment (it’s probably harder to score scenes of taxidermy to punk after all) and made a film that attempts to cobble these two disparate strands into a tale of two brothers fighting the system, yeah, both outlaws in their way, standing up to the Man. Standing up to the Man here meaning making a fortune from your street art, selling drugs or stealing millions in diamonds, coz nothing’s as rebellious as rampant greed and capitalism.

Anti-Social’s performances are awful across the board but the actors can’t entirely be blamed, the script appearing to be made up mostly of the words “faaaaack” “bruv” and “caaaaaaaan’t” thrown randomly together, the film a nasty, misogynistic, unpleasant wade through Traviss’ tawdry, chavtastic gangster fantasies perhaps best illustrated by the scene where two women are gang raped while a UK grime artist tells the battered, semi-conscious brother of one of the girls a story (that feels left over from Screwed) about the best way to carry out a punishment scalding in prison.

Loud, dreary, overlong and not even on nodding terms with reality, perhaps the best thing you can say about Anti-Social is that at least it’s a mediocre Brit crime flick that has resisted the temptation to dig up the rotting corpses of the Rettendon Range Rover Murders and give their story another flogging.

Movie Review: Anti-Social
1.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)

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