Metallica Through The Never Review

After 32 years of reigning over the world of heavy metal and 9 years since Metallica’s first feature length documentary (Some Kind of Monster) we’re presented with a new breed of concert film, Through The Never directed by Nimród Antal. It’s an unsettling yet impressive commingling of fiction and documentary, blurring the lines between reality and a sci-fi thriller.

9.-Metallica-Through-the-NeverWhat’s it about? Our protagonist is youthful roadie, Trip (Dane DeHaan). As Metallica roll out their opening tune on stage, he’s pulled away from enjoying the music and sent to retrieve an item the band urgently needs. Seemingly disheartened, Trip takes a pill before heading out in his van. While an aura of eeriness settles in, the night is about to turn his entire world into utter chaos.

Throughout each chapter of Trip’s battle to escape the apocalyptic state of affairs in the outside world, an accompanying Metallica track is played. A ragged and ominous hanged man puppet accompanies Trip as he stumbles into a supposedly parallel universe. If the horror of people rioting for no evident reason wasn’t enough, a dark-masked horseman emerges, mercilessly hanging anyone in sight, and he has his target set on the disheveled roadie.

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From the onset there’s an air of impending doom and the cinematography creates a sensation similar to a video game intro scene. The lack of dialogue throughout drives the paradoxical and mystifying plotline, intentionally leaving the contents of Trip’s bag in question.

Verdict: Although some viewers might consider it a dull and drawn out plot, leading nowhere, it’s unlikely they would be Metallica fans. Trip’s journey is a metaphor for the band’s own voyage, the struggles they’ve encountered and the highs and lows of their career. The mystery contents of the bag which Trips guards and delivers with a blind faith and dedication despite the perils in his path, seem to pose as a hidden symbol for what has kept the band going all these years.

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Metallica proves their quality and grandiose performance and staging is top class, and if you are still in doubt whether they can dazzle without all the fancy gimmicks, they close the film with minimal production, reminiscent of their club playing days.

Nimród Antal and Metallica have made a conscious effort to integrate the concert performance with the fictional story, so the viewer can experience the film more fluidly and get a taste of the atmosphere on stage.

Although the story would probably not hold out on it’s own, it’s more of an elaborate music video which serves it’s purpose well alongside the onstage act.

Final Words: The fictional narrative element results in a refreshing and inventive touch to the traditional tour and interview concert film. Dane DeHaan delivers a convincing performance, and the performing prowess of Metallica is difficult to deny. Through The Never’s 3D is tastefully executed, the design and quality of the sound is impeccable, definitely worth a watch in cinemas for the optimum experience. An impressive watch for new and dedicated Metallica fans.

Rating: 4.5 / 5      

Metallica Through The Never is in UK Cinemas now.