Metallica Through the Never (R)

Concert 93 October 4, 2013
By Peter Rugg
The last time Metallica made a documentary, they let the cameras into their therapy sessions, their private lives, their struggles with their families. This time they reverse tactics. In Metallica: Through the Never, maybe the most immersive concert film ever, glimpses of the band offstage will only give you the Saturday morning cartoon versions. This is a movie made for people who mash themselves up against those steel crowd-control barriers at concerts and still don't think they're close enough. Those faithful are rewarded here with a better look at the texture of the drum skins and the battered stock of the guitar, all close up enough to for you to fake a sense memory of what playing might feel like. Whatever controversies Metallica have stirred up-- about their image, their crusades again file-sharing, their late-period work-- there's no question that they remain a band that loves to play. How hard must it be to keep your enthusiasm when you've been performing the same song for over four decades? Apparently not very hard when those songs are "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Ride the Lightning," and "Battery." The concert is cut with fiction-narrative footage showing the saga of Dane DeHaan as Trip, a member of the band's crew sent on a quest through abandoned city streets to recover a truck he's told contains something Metallica need for their show. It's a wordless performance in the face of increasingly surreal circumstances. I can't help but empathize whenever he's onscreen-- we're both missing the real show.
Nimród Antal James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujullo, Dane DeHaan Nimród Antal Picturehouse Films

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