Style that still lets the bride shine...
metallica: through the never 3d
DIRECTOR: Nimrod Antal
CAST: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammet, Robert Trujillo, Dane DeHaan
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
RATING: 4 stars (out of 5)
A state-of-the-art concert movie shot in 3D and IMAX formats, Metallica’s latest cinematic venture confirms their position as the world’s biggest, loudest, most commercially successful heavy rock band. Nine years after baring their souls in the hilarious group-therapy documentary Some Kind of Monster, the San Francisco-based quartet take no chances with their platinum-plated brand.
Framed in ultra-vivid visuals and super-crisp sound, these black-clad warriors of Nietzschean uber-metal prowl and growl through their gnarly, snarly, riff-crunching greatest hits like cartoon superheroes. In addition to the live footage, Hungarian-American horror director Nimrod Antal also includes a fantasy dramatic subplot that recalls his previous work in gory action thrillers like Kontroll and Predators.
The result is a kind of live-action computer-game blown up to immersive billboard dimensions. It makes little sense, but captures some of the macabre, intense, hyper-aggressive spirit of Metallica’s music. Business should be brisk, considering the band remains a huge global draw, selling more than 100 million albums during their 30-year career.
Recorded over five nights in Vancouver and Edmonton during the band’s marathon World Magnetic tour last year, Through the Never captures for posterity a slick multi-camera spectacle well suited to the hyper-intense detail of high-end 3D and IMAX. You can almost smell the money dripping off the super-sized screen.
Arriving onstage to Ennio Morricone’s classic spaghetti-western theme The Ecstasy of Gold, in long-standing Metallica tradition, singer James Hetfield locks effortlessly into fist-pumping, turbo-roaring rock-gladiator mode while hyperactive drummer Lars Ulrich spends half the concert on his feet, forever exploding out of his seat like Keith Moon of The Who.
Playing in the round on a massive hi-tech platform that doubles as a vast video screen, the band pinball around the stage as the panels beneath them pulse with lakes of blood, squirming maggots, prematurely buried souls trapped inside glass-topped coffins, and other lurid imagery.
Over the band’s heads, meanwhile, the arena blazes with laser beams, pyrotechnics and mechanical stage props. A giant electric chair fizzes and crackles in Ride the Lighting, a towering statue of “blind justice” rises and topples during And Justice for All, and a forest of graveyard crosses sprout for One, the brooding anti-war anthem now firmly established as Metallica’s answer to Hotel California. The film is dedicated to the late Mark Fisher, the legendary British stage architect who designed this eye-popping spectacle plus others for Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, U2, Lady Gaga, the London Olympics and many more.
Metallica have shot numerous concert films before, most recently Quebec Magnetic, a fairly routine 2D affair recorded on the same tour. But this is their best to date, with music and visuals both cranked up to 11 and beyond.
However mindless and heartless it may be, Through the Never succeeds as pure sense-swamping spectacle. – Hollywood Reporter
If you liked, I’m Not There or Part of Me, then you will like this.