The Only Review That Matters- Through the Never
Sad But True
If you've ever read any of my previous hubs, you'll know I'm a big fan of heavy metal. One of my favorite American metal bands has always been Metallica.
Metallica was one of the first metal bands to make a name for themselves in the early 80's. Along with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer, they became known as one of the big four of thrash metal. Since 1983, they have sold over 120 million albums, won 9 Grammys, and have maintained one of the most loyal followings in rock. They have accomplished this despite many setbacks that would derail the greatest of bands including the tragic death of legendary bass player Cliff Burton, James Hatfield's pyrotechnic accident, and being labeled as sellouts in the metal community for going mainstream. Last year, Metallica was featured in a concert movie Through the Never.
I saw trailers for the picture and was really confused and intrigued about what I saw. It was Metallica playing their classic songs in a concert, but it also showed a teenager running through a city during a riot. I didn't see the film in theaters because I was concerned that these scenes would affect what I felt about the band(St. Anger, Napster scandal) So I stopped at a redbox one day and picked up a copy to review it for myself. And this should not come as a surprise but, Spoiler Alert!
What I liked- The concert scenes are awesome. The concert layout was in a 360° environment so that the band members could interact with all sides of the arena. The effects of the show were directly linked to the band's albums and songs. During songs from Kill em All the floor flood in red blood like the album cover, the floor showed bolting electricity and hung an electric chair above the stage when a song from Ride the Lighting was played, headstones rose from the stage and lights formed puppet strings during Master of Puppets, and a giant lady justice is constructed then demolished during And Justice for All songs.
As far as the bands sound, its superb. The live element that Metallica is famous for is certainly on display in this movie. Every vocal, beat, riff, solo, rhythm, and song sound great and fit the situations that are occurring to the roadie.
What I didn't- Outside the concert, the plot made no sense. I know it was supposed to be like the roadie was going through some kind of drug trip, but its correspondence to what was going on with the concert made no sense and left out many plots brought on by the protagonist. The riot scenes were very well shot and acted, but served as nothing more than a scene to fit with Metallica's intense music. This movie would have benefited more by making it just the concert movie with some behind the scenes thrown in. With the effects of the show and the great playing of James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo, and Lars Ulrich, the movie still would have been a financial success and a awesome IMAX experience.
Also with a concert setting like this and Metallica having as many hit singles as they do, there are going to be some songs that are going to be left out. Some of the questionable songs included in the movie were And Justice for All and Hit the Lights. Not to say those are bad songs, they're just not songs you would instantly identify with the band. some notable songs left out of the movie include Seek and Destroy, Sanitarium, Sad but True, King Nothing, and many others. I just think there could have been a better song selection list that could have brought appeal to all Metallica fans both old and new.
Bottom Line- Despite all the issues with the films plot, this a movie worth seeing. Metallica fans will love to see the band in a concert setting such as this. You'll be in your seating singing along to your favorite songs with the movie crowd and be headbanging during the bands heavier material. The important thing is to focus on the music and you'll be very satisfied.