Movie: Metallica: Through The Never
Director: Nimród Antal
I sat and stared at my computer screen for quite some time before I was really ready to formulate any kind of cohesive thought on my experiences while watching the new Metallica movie, Metallica: Through The Never. In some ways I am still attempting to dilute the viewing I had just earned, however metal it truly was. I shouldn’t really need to state that Metallica killed their performance of the film, though I will anyway.
Enjoyed at an IMAX theater (which your experience should be if the chance presents itself) located inside a furniture store, most New Englander’s will recognize the North East trade mark furniture store as Jordan’s Furniture, the night already began in a weird fashion. Burrito in hand, I made my way through the emulations of Mardi Gras, (seriously, the Natick location is like an amusement park) through furniture showrooms, up to the IMAX Theater that the Natick location of Jordan’s is best known for.
The film’s sound was immediately showcased by the theater’s capabilities, with each and every incredibly comfortable seat backed by a sub-woofer bass underneath. With every deafening resonance from the band, the entire theater shook in compliance. Running on a 4K resolution, which is twice the resolution of your standard theater screen, Jordan’s IMAX screen brings the noise and sight with a 10K Watt multi-channel designed only for IMAX screens. Led by singer/guitarist James Hetfield, Metallica took to their first song, “Creeping Death.” Pounding its way through the speakers in the theater, bouncing off all the walls, eventually slapping against enough matter to make it to my ears, the show started in grand fashion. As my eardrums did their best to interpret the sound emanating from the screen in front of me, small electrical signals make their way to my brain, in an attempt to find neurological signals that can recognize what my auditory system is trying to deduce. Not an easy task for drowned distortion that Metallica can thrash out. Pounding to the beats of Metallica’s rhythm section, including, drummer Lars Ulrich, and bassist Robert Trujillo, all 272 seats shook in a unified fashion.
As James Hetfield and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett sonically sew around each other, Through The Never also presents a second narrative, intertwined with the actual music performance, in a stride to break the walls of the concert’s realism. Roadie Trip, (I’ll leave the chemical pharmacology allusions there) played by Dane DeHaan, needs to aid a fellow worker who has run out of gas transporting a bag to the concert. The bag in question, is presented as an absolute necessity for the band, and provides the framework for Trip’s journey through an abandoned city.
This is where Through The Never starts to get weird, nay, weirder. This movie is rated-R, why? It’s super violent. Our roadie Trip traverses through a fiery riot in his sabbatical to find the allusive bag, but soon finds himself covered in blood, fire, and other fluids. Gasmask wearing horseman, police officers, and a slew of other scoundrels battle it out to the tunes of Metallica playing. Each scene an anthem, and the way the live performance is juxtaposed to the stories narrative is real fun, albeit short. Some cuts between the story to the live music last a mere 20 seconds or so, and it is an entire 8-minute Metallica song until we see it again. I would have enjoyed more immersion between the two, though I still had one hell of a time.
Die-hard Metallica fans should rejoice, for Through The Never may be one of the best concert movies of recent time. An incredible performance of Metallica’s greatest hits, with violent action to complement the Metallica branded riffs, and a stage show that will make any concertgoer stand in awe. Paired with director Nimród Antal, Metallica have created an experience that will surely please long time fans of the band, but will also entertain non-Metallica die-hards like myself. Do yourself a favor, and catch this one in IMAX if you can.
Review Written by Andrew Caruso — Follow him on Twitter