'Metallica Through the Never' an odd, but rocking ride
Metallica Through the Never
- Starring: Dane DeHaan, Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Robert Trujillo, Lars Ulrich
- Country: USA
- Directed by: Nimrod Antal
- Written by: Nimrod Antal, Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Robert Trujillo, Lars Ulrich
- Studio: EOne Films
- Rating: 14A
- Duration: 92 minutes
Metallica channels ABBA. Now there’s a line I bet you never thought you’d read.
But hey, let’s face it, the headbanging rockers have taken some inspirational cues from 1977’s ABBA: The Movie for their 3D IMAX film, Through the Never.
It’s a concert movie and a movie-movie, with a storyline and a running narrative, capiche?
First up, the music.
Instead of a straight 90-minute cinematic rehash from their World Magnetic tour, the San Francisco-based band plunks the audience onstage as they run through their biggest hits.
Cameras are perched everywhere on the stage, giving audiences as close a feeling as they are ever going to have of what it’s like to be part of a Metallica stage show.
If you’ve ever wanted to reach out and touch frontman James Hetfield, yank on drummer Lars Ulrich’s tongue, see Kirk Hammett’s fretwork larger than life or witness bassist Robert Trujillo’s sopping locks five-storeys high, then this is your movie.
I say maybe, because interspersed between the spectacular concert footage (it was shot in Vancouver and Edmonton last summer) is a bizarre storyline put together by Predators director Nimrod Antal.
As the band performs in front of a sold-out crowd, a roadie named Trip (The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Dane DeHaan) is sent to retrieve a mysterious package from a desolate neighbourhood. While the quartet tear through hits like Ride the Lightning, One, Fuel, Enter Sandman, The Memory Remains and more, Trip traverses a nightmare dreamworld encountering horrific signs of the apocalypse, rioting crowds, hanging bodies and a death-dealing horseman.
Various props from their previous tours make appearances including a towering Lady Justice during ... And Justice For All, while Master of Puppets incorporates crosses rising from the stage.
I’m sure some of these R-rated scenes are a metaphor for something, but you’ll have a better time if you sit back, enjoy the scenery, marvel at the timelessness of the songs and don’t think too much.
There will be plenty of questions at the end, including one pretty big one that doesn’t get answered, so book a coffee date after the credits roll.
When Metallica was last on the big screen in 2004’s Some Kind of Monster, they were a band on the brink of dissolution. This time, it was wise to skip the therapy session and focus on the rocking tunes.
The music is good enough to overlook most, if not all, the fictional narrative’s odd eccentricities.