The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the concert film “Metallica: Through the Never” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer.
And you thought LOST left questions unanswered..
“Metallica: Through the Never” is a concert movie with an intermingled storyline designed to highlight the band’s trademark rock show in the IMAX 3D format. It intersperses scenes from a concurrent and connected storyline with live concert footage of some of their greatest songs. Right off the bat I have to admit I’m not a fan of Metallica, not that I don’t like them, I’ve just never found the opportunity to dig into their music. I remember watching the documentary “Some Kind of Monster” about them a few years back and gaining a lot of respect for them as musicians but just haven’t really spent anytime with the music itself. Until now… make no mistake… even though there is an attempted storyline amongst the songs. First and foremost this is a concert film. If you are a Metallica fan you will LOVE this… if not? well… it’s up to the story in between to keep you engaged… and that’s a different story… literally. But let’s chat the good stuff first.
The concert part of this is incredibly powerful stuff. These guys own this crowd and show why they have been a staple of the hard rock scene for decades. Whether it be Lars posturing at the drums, Kirk wailing on the guitar solos, Robert prowling the stage with his bass, or James growling out the lyrics, you get a true sense for the power of this foursome. And the 3D IMAX brings it home even more putting you right in the middle of it. In fact, I kinda wish the movie had just stayed with the concert instead of trying to tie in the extra story… at least in hindsight. Let me explain… During the movie I kinda liked the extra scenes. I dug the way they interacted with the concert footage creating a sense of anticipation on how the whole thing would reconnect at the end. In fact, the best thing about the movie was the sense of mystery about who this stage hand was and what his task was and how all these clues would come together at the end…
Except they didn’t. At all. The last half hour of this movie threw any and all continuity out the window and decided that all that mystery it had built was just for show. What a waste. It was absolutely the angriest I have left the theater all year. I don’t mind a little ambiguity in my movies, but don’t sell me genius if all you’ve got is some cool special effects that don’t lead anywhere. It’s just so frustrating that such an intriguing concept is ruined by a complete lack of effort in the follow through and finish.
Overall seeing Metallica perform a sold out show in IMAX 3D is an incredible experience, and to combine it with a mysterious interacting plot seemed like it might make it even better. Unfortunately, when the story turns out to be all smoke and mirrors and no substance the landing crashes in on itself. I’d say Metallica gets an A, but Through the Never gets a D, so together lets go with a C+.
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