Anti-Social: A Way of Life
This is the forth film of writer/director Reg Traviss. Anti-Social is a story of two brothers Dee ( Gregg Sulkin) an anarchic street artist: Banksy style and Marcus (Josh Meyers) an armed robber part of a ‘smash and grab’ motorcycle gang. It’s loosely based on real life events. The film coincidently is released at a time where there is still a highly publicised case of a smash and grab gang that targeted a jewelers in London’s famous Hatton Garden only a few weeks ago.
The film has two aspects to it, it looks at the rapid acceleration of Marcus’s childhood friends turned armed robbers criminality, resulting in bloodshed ……. Alongside Dee’s story of resistance from following in the footsteps of what could be seen as his ‘birthright’ as Marcus’ father was also involved in London’s underworld and consequently murdered just after Marcus was born. Dee’s talent as a street artist gives him the opportunity to escape his life in London along with his American model girlfriend (Meghan Markle) living off his brother’s ill-gotten gains into the legitimate art scene in Berlin. Marcus and his criminal ambitions lead him and his gang into activities that are way out of their league. Entering the world of drugs and dealings with rival gang causes no end of horrific consequences.
The two distinct strands of the film intertwine in the final denouement as Dee is faced with a difficult choice….What will he do?
The films slow start, took me off guard a little, but in hindsight Reg allowed the space at the start for us to get to know the characters. Traviss’ film unfolds slowly but picks up in pace and intensity, which in my view is the ideal way to go with this type of film. There was always a sense of impending doom throughout, it all added to the tension. I was wrong footed several times as the twists and turns evolved in an unexpected way. Antisocial really delves into the new generation of London’s gangland. It inadvertently highlights that modern gang culture is a problem built on class and not race. Which is what actually sets this film apart from other films of this genre.
The film is stylishly shot and edited, especially the smash and grab sequences. There are some moments of cinematic genius. However, for a London based film there are a number of exterior shots which clearly aren’t London. As a consequence, it was in fear of undermining the feel of the film.
The soundtrack brilliantly aids story telling throughout, with tracks by Drew McConnell (Baby Shambles), Itch and Giggs. Skepta successfully adding his skills to the mix.
If a British heist movie is your thing…. then this is for you.
Check out the Official Trailer:
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