Anti-Social

 

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This frightening picture of contemporary London is not the best acted film of the year but it has vitality to spare.

   

Anti-Social

Street tart: Gregg Sulkin with his glamorous American girlfriend (Meghan Markle)

 

Make no mistake, Anti-Social is pure fiction. Nonetheless, the timing of its release – just four weeks after the historic heist in London’s Hatton Garden diamond district – should be causing the film’s distributors to quiver with joy. ‘Inspired’ by a series of genuine smash-and-grab robberies in the capital, Reg Traviss’s Anti-Social serves as a microcosm of London in the present day. The anti-social activities also include street graffiti, an anti-authoritarian and illegal practice that is becoming a highly prized art form.

 

The Banksy bruv in question is one Dee (played by Douglas Booth lookalike Gregg Sulkin), who still lives at home with his dope-smoking mother and older brother, Marcus (Josh Myers). Marcus has carved his own niche in the world of nonconformity by participating in a series of audacious and daring robberies in the West End. Meanwhile, Dee’s American model girlfriend Kirsten (Meghan Markle) introduces us to the chichi nightlife of a London with money and champagne to spare.

 

Anybody watching this overseas would be forgiven for thinking that London is bristling with cash and incredibly beautiful women (all the gang’s girlfriends look like supermodels), while the juicy dialogue may bewilder those unacquainted with contemporary slang, innit? Yet, in spite of the film’s gauche vision and ropey acting, it has an enormous energy and is rather fun. The robberies themselves are handled extremely well and would certainly give the Sweeney a run for its money. The only real quandary is how this drug-fuelled, profanity-ridden and extremely violent film got away with a 15 certificate.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Gregg Sulkin, Meghan Markle, Josh Myers, Christian Berkel, Andrew Shim, James Devlin, Michael Maris, Amanda Ryan.

 

Dir Reg Traviss, Pro Mouktar Mohammed, Screenplay Reg Traviss, Ph Bryan Loftus, Pro Des Melanie Light, Ed Edmund Swabey, Music George Kallis, Costumes Violetta Kassapi.

 

RST Pictures/JRSM Films/Origo Film Group-Miracle Communications.

115 mins. UK/Hungary. 2015. Rel: 1 May 2015. Cert. 15.