Sunny Abberton, a long-standing member of the Bra Boys surfer gang that calls Sydney’s Maroubra beach its home, delivers a laughably one-sided portrait of his relatives and friends with Bra Boys. A carefully manicured PR video for the infamous Bra Boys surfer community that’s been involved in riots, brawls with police, and a murder investigation during the past decade, Abberton’s film paints his brotherhood—as well as his biological brothers Jai and Koby, who in 2003 faced grave criminal charges relating to the killing of an acquaintance—as charming guys wholly undeserving of the bad rep they’ve received from the media and authorities. Whether the Bra Boys merit vilification or lionization is a question that goes unanswered by this doc, which so thoroughly avoids anything not tinted rose that it amounts to a meaningless exercise in indulgent self-congratulation. Abberton details how Maroubra beach and its cliques have provided surrogate families for kids from broken and/or unhappy homes (including himself and his siblings), along the way arguing that surfer gangs’ wildness is the byproduct of the country’s tumultuous history and a reflection of the beach’s violent waves. What he doesn’t do, however, is even feign interest in acknowledging or addressing the potential culpability of the Bra Boys in their notorious scrapes with the law and neighboring communities, instead simply presenting them as friendly members of a fraternity who promote loyalty, tolerance, altruism, and kindness. In view of this wholesale partiality, Bra Boys—narrated, with an absolute minimum of energy, by Russell Crowe—proves merely an extended commercial for the ragamuffin gang and their hard-charging surfing skills that offers scant basis for audience interest in the first place.
- Slowhand Cinema Releasing
- 84 min
- Sunny Abberton
- Sunny Abberton
- Russell Crowe, Sunny Abberton, Jai Abberton, Koby Abberton, Kelly Slater
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: