Metallica: Through The Never (dir. Nimród Antal, 2013) – Young roadie Trip is on the way to deliver some cargo when he crashes his way into a surreal, alternate reality.
If you can relate to the man in the opening scene screaming “METALLICA!” in the parking lot, this one’s for you.
Two months ago, Metallica played one hell of a show right here in Singapore. I watched them through tiny gaps between waving arms of the 40,000-strong crowd. What a sweaty and glorious day.
Then came my second chance to see them live again, this time up close… All right, fine. So it was just on the silver screen this time. Seated, lip synching and not throwing our metal horns up? This feels almost illegal. All this mild nodding is nothing compared to an actual live experience. But with the awesome scale and energetic presentation, Metallica’s latest concert movie comes pretty close.
Fuelled and all fired up, Through The Never in IMAX 3D promises an immersive experience, its volume steady at 11. As soon as the seminal thrash band takes the stage, the movie slips into comfortable majesty in its theatrical display of grandeur. Inspired by each iconic album, insanely large set pieces descend from the roof as each greatest hit seeps into the next.
Interwoven into the set list is a cinematic narrative, packed with visceral satisfaction and a tint of eccentricity. In the unconventional ‘plot’, young roadie Trip (Dane Dehaan) takes on the assignment of his lifetime that lands him in a surreal, hallucinogenic adventure. (Haha, “trip”, get it?)
Director Nimród Antal (Vacancy, Predators) warps reality with his otherworldly vision, unleashing a barrage of heavy metal tropes from apocalyptic horsemen to street riots. It is a whole lotta fun to watch. Stunning visuals underlie each thrash riff with minimal distraction. There is little to understand amid the chaos, yet plenty to take in. Chronicle star Dane Dehaan’s compelling lead carries the movie alone, keeping one constantly intrigued.
So let it be written, let it be done. Whether you are a headbanger or a cinephile (or both like myself), the excellent integration of visual and sound assures that you will be more than gratified at the end of the 90-minute set.