Dane DeHaan plays Trip, a roadie on a mysterious mission in Metallica: Through The Never.
Heavy metal is a funny thing. The technical prowess is self-evident while providing a catharsis powered by controlled aggression. Even though the content should be strong enough to be considered provocative, its still just slightly over the top to be taken seriously.
As Metallica has come to essentially define metal, the tenets listed above have come to define their latest film, Metallica: Through The Never.
Directed by Nimrod Antal, Never shows a heightened experience of what happens at a Metallica show. Written by Antal and the band, the film takes a surrealistic detour as Trip (Dane DeHaan), a roadie, must go on a mission to retrieve a bag that the band desperately needs that night. If that reads vague, it is. The fact that its actual dialogue doesnt help.
Salvador Dali and Paulo Coelhos The Alchemist serve as inspiration but, unfortunately, execution fails concept as the narrative is loose even by forgiving standards. While unreliable narrators and loose ends are great if you are Christopher Nolan, this shows poor construction.
Antal is a wonderful visual director but the band wouldve been better served to have one capable enough to incorporate a tacit statement about where the band is now. Unfortunately, in a weird, sad way it does inversely.
Credit the band for trying to do something artistic (2011s Lou Reed collaboration, LULU) but was this the best and most artistic content that Metallica as a creative unit had? The film settles for being a Song Remains The Same clone when it couldve had the same emotional impact as Pink Floyds iconic The Wall.
Creative relevancy aside, Metallica: Through The Never is an amazing concert film and being shot in IMAX only makes it better. With the exception of their acclaimed 1989 Seattle concert, this is Metallicas best performance on film. The 3D is visceral and not gimmicky and is one of the great concert films that best captures the live feel of the band since the Scorsese/Rolling Stones collaboration, Shine A Light.
All in all, Metallica: Through The Never is a good effort. The band is great and the film is technically sound. Great performances all around but the hackneyed side story is redundant.
The biggest mistake the band made is not totally relying on themselves.