I have been itching to see this concert movie since I saw the promo several months back. Not only am I a big fan of Metallica, the rock band that shaped my rocking teenage years, but I was also psyched to see talented young actor Dane Deehan (Chronicle, A Place Beyond the Pines) star in the brilliant side story that the band cooked up to make their movie more badass.
When Metallica decided to jump on the bandwagon of filming concerts and releasing it in IMAX 3D, there were no cutesy backastage interviews and behind the scenes footage on the road for James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammet and Robert Trujillo. Instead, they chose to go all out on their concert with kick ass special effects, stage, lighting, pyrotechnics and their signature rock music that their fans totally got into. There was not one person in the entire venue that was sitting down, a true testament to the power of Metallica’s music and the following the band managed to cultivate across the decades.
What sets this concert movie apart and made it even more cool was the fact that instead of simple interviews, the band created a brilliant side story about their roadie (Dane Deehan), who was set out on an errand during the concert only to find chaos in the streets that is strangely connected to the music being played by the band. The scenes serve as a transition from one song to the other and plays like a music video/ action movie of sorts that is part surreal and part thriller.
All I can say about this movie can be encapsulated in two words — HARD CORE. The band members may have grown older, drummer Lars UIrich may have lost his hair, but the energy and the seamlessness of the band’s performance is the same as it was 30 years ago when they first started. The intensity of their performance was not forced, and they did not need to remind their audience that they are rockers unlike some bands of today. They simply rocked, and they were unbelievably great. I for, one, could not help headbanging to their music even inside the theater, and the way the fans were rocking out to their every song and singing along each chorus — totally insane. I couldn’t sit still when they performed two of their biggest hits, Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman. As for Deehan, as the only recognizable actor in a sea of extras, I think this kid will go a long way in the industry because of his raw talent and ability to carry a scene even without saying a word. This kid is golden.
All in all, Metallica: Through the Never is a unique concert experience. I saw it on regular 2D but on 3D, it would have been doubly awesome. Congrats to the band, the cast and director Nimrod Antal (Predators, Vacancy) for a great job in putting this together. Best movie concert ever. Not to be missed.