Metallica: Through the Never

Director
Nimród Antal
Runtime
1 h 33 min
Release Date
25 September 2013
Genres
Music
Overview
Trip, a young roadie for Metallica, is sent on an urgent mission during the band's show. But what seems like a simple assignment turns into a surreal adventure.
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  • Metallica Through the Never
    MusicalDocumentaryDramaHorrorSci-Fi/FantasyAction/Adventure We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewBig, brash 3-D concert movies are all the rage these days. And rage is exactly what the undisputed kings of thrash deliver in Metallica Through the Never. Don't be lulled into complacency by the fact that the band's youngest member is 48. Or that the group's last movie, the 2004 behind-the-scenes documentary Some Kind of Monster, was as much about group therapy as it was guitars pummeling cranked amps. No, Through the Never finds these four horsemen of the metal apocalypse thundering through a 94-minute assault engineered to perforate your eardrums and liquefy your innards. Oh, and there actually are horsemen and the apocalypse tossed into the dramatic mix here too. Read on. Kill 'Em All Metallica, of course, has been unleashing aural body blows since its 1983 debut, Kill 'Em All. And the passage of time has done little to blunt the band's bombastic impact, much to fans' delight, whom the filmmakers frequently show us as they scream every word of every song. The concert portion of this film—which accounts for 70% or so—is a visual tour de force. As someone who's been to myriad concerts and seen plenty of concert movies, I don't envy producers and designers who are tasked with reinventing the wheel when it comes to filming a live performance in a way that sets their band apart from others that have come before. But it seems clear that Metallica's creative team has indeed gone that extra mile to rise to the challenge. The band performs "in the round" on a vaguely H-shaped stage. But it's no ordinary stage. The entire surface is composed of video screens that display all manner of imagery related to the 16 songs in the set list. But that's just the beginning of the multimedia proceedings. Massive pyrotechnics regularly erupt from both the floor and ceiling. During "Master of Puppets," glowing white crosses emerge from the floor, representing the iconic tombstones on the cover of that album. Elsewhere, aerial rigging descends and morphs, Transformers-style, to reveal a ring of caskets hanging around the stage's perimeter—caskets with crosses on one side and video screens on the other bearing footage of people trapped inside screaming and pounding to get out. Speaking of pounding, there's plenty of that as Metallica rumbles through 30 years of its biggest hits, including "Creeping Death," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Fuel," "Ride the Lightning," "The Memory Remains," "Wherever I May Roam," "Cyanide," "One," "Battery" and "Enter Sandman." "… And Justice for All" may top them all, as a group of set engineers construct a towering replica of Lady Justice in real time, onstage, during the show … only to have it collapse (on purpose) at the climax. Cyanide Even if you don't know much about Metallica, a glimpse of song titles like those should say a lot to you about the band's morbid and melancholy focus. Sometimes, as with "One," James Hetfield and Co. explore the intertwined themes of death and desperation from a hauntingly earnest perspective. The song deals with a WWI soldier who's been mortally wounded by a land mine. As he dies, he longs for God to save him … or at least deliver him from his suffering: "Hold my breath as I wish for death/Oh please, God, wake me/Now the world is gone, I'm just one/Oh, God, help me." The band even explores biblical themes at times. "Creeping Death," for instance, deals with Moses, Pharaoh and the angel who comes to claim Egypt's firstborn on the night of that first Passover: "Now/Let my people go, land of Goshen/Go/I will be with thee, bush of fire/Blood/Running red and strong, down the Nile/Plague/Darkness three days long, hail to fire/ … So let it be done/To kill the first born Pharaoh son/I'm creeping death." Elsewhere, however, that consistent fixation on alienation and mortality wanders into much darker places. On "Cyanide," for example, lyrics could be heard to glorify suicide as a way out of a dark life: "Empty they say/Death won't you let me stay/Empty they say/ … Suicide I've already died/You're just the funeral I've been waiting for/Cyanide living dead inside/Break this empty shell forevermore." And then there's "Enter Sandman," of course, a sinister, Freddy Krueger-esque song about a stalking specter lurking beneath the beds of unsuspecting children who just want to say their prayers and sleep. And that brings us to a whole 'nother aspect of this film. Enter Sandman Eye-popping stage spectacle aside, what really sets Through the Never apart from other concert documentaries is Team Metallica's decision to weave a surreal and macabre horror-meets-fantasy narrative in between songs. One might describe it as a mini-movie in and of itself; but it could probably be better compared to a concept music video that spans all of the film's 16 songs instead of just one track on MTV or YouTube. Early on, a young roadie named Trip is ordered by a grizzled supervisor to take a plastic jug of gasoline to one of the band's trucks, which ran out of fuel before it got to the show. There's something in the truck the band needs before the end of the night, Trip's told. Reluctantly, the hoodie- and bandana-wearing roadie clambers into his decrepit van and sets out in search of the truck that's stranded elsewhere in the city. After nearly running a stoplight, Trip notices a bloody handprint on a road sign—right before he's T-boned by an oncoming car. The van gets flipped and destroyed, and things don't go very well for Trip's face, either. The man who hit him is clearly in shock, but it's not because of the accident. Furtively looking back the direction he came from, he continues to flee in obvious terror. Trip grabs the gas can—as well as a voodoo doll-like figure with a noose around its neck that's been hanging from his mirror—and sets out on foot. He soon discovers why the man was running: A frenzied mob led by mysterious men on horseback wearing WWI-style gas masks are about to confront riot police. The forces clash violently. (We see policemen set on fire as well as rioters beaten mercilessly.) The rioters aren't technically zombies, but they behave with similarly feral ferocity. And as you might guess, Trip can't or won't just quietly sneak away. No, he lobs a rock at one of the riders' head. Mr. Apocalypse isn't the least bit happy with that, and soon he's pursuing Trip. After that, things get even weirder—and much more violent. Among other things, Trip discovers a massacre where about 25 people have been hanged; he lights himself on fire to take on his pursuers, but is seemingly beaten to death; he's then resurrected by that voodoo doll (which has now come to life) for a final battle with the masked man; and that combat ends up shattering skyscrapers in a bombastic final showdown. As for the band, well, they play on, though the final conflagration temporarily halts to the proceedings when the stage more or less collapses and a crewman catches fire. But after a brief break, they're right back at it. Trip? He dutifully delivers the contents of that truck, but not before we've been treated to some serious violence, some skewed spirituality and about four f-words. Nothing Else Matters It's obvious to most by now that Metallica's three-decade catalog of smashes dives deeply into some pretty dark plays. These guys can say some significant things about finding meaning in life when the specter of death looms. But they can also wallow in the growling "glories" of nihilism, aggression and alienation. Layering Trip's mysterious, viscerally violent quest over the top of those songs puts a graphic, macabre exclamation point on Metallica Through the Never. It is indeed a trip—an hour-and-a-half journey into a sonic maelstrom full of angst and anger, cacophony and coffins.Positive ElementsSpiritual ContentSexual ContentRecommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentCrude or Profane LanguageDrug and Alcohol ContentOther Negative ElementsConclusionPro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith1
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 'Metallica Through the Never' is just as bad as the band
    metallicamovie reviews I just saw “Metallica Through The Never” in IMAX, and now I feel like stealing a car or strangling some kittens. They handed out earplugs at the screening. “Save ’em for the next Nicholas Sparks movie,” I said. Earplugs are not metal!!! I’ve got this slight ringing in my ears, or maybe it’s a roaring, can you hear it, too? The band is Metallica, but the audience is megadef. So the guys do their hits on a giant stage pulsing with sick images while a roadie played by Dane Dehaan, that creepy kid from “Chronicle,” goes outside to drive around the streets on a mysterious mission. Nightmare scenes flash everywhere. Skulls! Flameballs! Corpses dangling in the night! An electric chair! I’ve never felt so alive!! This movie is basically “Spinal Tap” minus the jokes. Two of the band members have the word “Metallica” emblazoned on their clothing. Metallica — it’s the band that has to remind fans whom they’re watching! James Hetfield croaks out lyrics about bleakness and destruction. The man sounds like a meth-enraged cookie monster. Lars Ulrich creams the drums. Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo shred the guitar and bass. This band makes Pearl Jam sound like ‘N Sync. Everyone snarls and bares their teeth. Grrr! What’s everyone so angry about? These dudes are freaking quintillionaires! I was mad once too, but I was 15. Now I’m not a virgin anymore!!!! The fans seem really into it though! They make the devil’s-horns sign while pumping their right arms in the air. It’s like a moron Nuremberg! There’s a song about justice, and this giant fake stone statue of Blind Lady Justice gets assembled piece by piece with cranes! It was kinda like in “Spinal Tap” when they bring down the 18-inch Stonehenge! Only this one’s cool cause it’s really freaking huge! Black, black, black. This is the sound of black. Not real black, like tragic stuff, but poseur black. Black t-shirts. Black knuckle tats. It gets to be samey. It gets to be bland. It’s generic. It’s Vanillaca! Out in the street scenes, stuff is getting surreal. There’s a vengeance-minded horseman in a gas mask. There are rioters getting beaten by cops. This DeHaan character douses himself with gasoline and lights a match. Then an angry crowd whales on him with batons! Violence — so metal!!! Toward the end, the stage starts to crumble. Metal girders fall down everywhere, a guy in flames starts running madly past the band. I kept thinking the only logical ending to the show would be if Metallica actually blew themselves up. Then I remembered what Daffy Duck said about that: “I can only do it once!” Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogleFacebook MessengerWhatsAppEmailCopy ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

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