‘Metallica Through The Never’ – Movie Review
Regardless of how many times you have seen Metallica live, or if you’ve never been fortunate enough to catch them in concert, if you’re a fan of the band, you’ll want to see ‘Metallica Through The Never.’ The film is a 92-minute opus that will likely leave theatergoers speechless when the end credits roll.
One of the few movies in the history of Hollywood to offer ticket holders earplugs before entering the theater, ‘Metallica Through The Never’ was filmed over the course of five shows in Canada in 2012. Those gigs existed purely because of this movie; this is not a documentary of a Metallica concert, this is a movie created from the ground-up by one of the most successful bands in the history of music.
Filmed in 3D, the movie is heavily focused on the band’s performance on a stage that was designed specifically for the film. In addition to the concert footage, interspersed throughout the performance is a beautifully shot, albeit very strange and bizarre, narrative starring Dane DeHaan, a runner for Metallica who leaves the arena near the beginning of the show for a very important task: find one of the band’s trucks that broke down and get the bag that’s in the back.
Don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler. That’s as much as the audience knows about the narrative. As DeHaan’s character, Trip, sets out on this mission, things begin to spiral out-of-control. The best word to describe what he experiences is simply the apocalypse. From riots to mass killings to a cryptic, masked horseman — and a few even stranger things thrown in — Trip goes through hell, but never loses focus of the task at hand. The narrative is frustratingly open-ended, but that’s exactly what the band wants. They want you to be able to have a conversation about what you witnessed and to get into debates about the meaning behind the story.
When you walk out of the theater, there is no doubt you’ll be experiencing a mix of emotions. One part of you will be on an unbelievable high from the concert footage. Hearing and seeing the opening of ‘Creeping Death’ to watching the band crush ‘…And Justice for All’ and perform an intimate rendition of ‘Hit the Lights,’ you’ve never experienced a Metallica show like this before. The cameras aren’t out in the crowd filming the stage. Instead, the cameras are on the stage, giving you a perspective like no other concert movie before. With up to 24 cameras filming simultaneously and nearly 1 million LEDs used during the show, the live footage in ‘Metallica Through The Never’ will without question induce headbanging in theaters all over.
The other side of your post-movie emotions, however, will focus on the unusual narrative. While the scenes are expertly filmed and packed with violence and intense situations, the plot is barely present. There is too much left to be answered by the end of the movie that the band’s intention of creating a conversation may actually be impeded by the audience’s confusion and frustration.
That being said, do not let the unconventional narrative keep you from seeing this movie, especially on IMAX and in 3D. The audio is phenomenal, the scenes are intricately edited and Metallica have a powerful onscreen presence, very similar to their onstage presence.
On Sept. 27, ‘Metallica Through The Never’ hits more than 300 IMAX 3D theaters across North America. The film will be released in standard 3D movie theaters a week later on Oct. 4. It is directed by Nimrod Antal and stars Dane DeHaan, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo. For more on the film and where to see it, click here.