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Movie Review: Metallica Through The Never

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 3 years ago

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Honestly speaking, I can’t say I was ever a hard-core Metallica fan. But I've always been aware of their music, still own a few of their albums and used a lot of their tunes to flush out late teenage/early adulthood frustrations. Their music, much like other bands from back-in-the-day, served as a great tool for motivational aggression. I’ve never seen them live, but if I were to image what a Metallica show would look and sound like, it would be one of the most soulful shattering experiences of my life. “Through The Never” is a concert-based film that captures everything and anything I’d image it be, along with added narrative, and a POV one isn’t accustomed to when watching concert films, especially one that’s shot specifically for an IMAX experience.

“Through The Never” follows Trip (Dane De Haan), a young roadie sent on an urgent mission during Metallica’s roaring live set in front of a sold-out arena. As the band works their visceral magic, its most iconic songs for thousands of their fans in a never-before-seen performance created exclusively for the film, Trip is dispatched outside the arena to meet a disabled delivery truck and obtain a mysterious package being transported to the show. But the simple assignment turns into a surreal adventure when his car is hit by an out-of-control driver. Trip, dazed and bruised, climbs out of his van only to find himself pitched in the middle of a tense standoff between angry protesters and charging riot police. Amidst the mayhem, a vicious masked horseman sets his murderous eye on Trip while delivering deathblows to rioters and cops alike. Fleeing through the desolate, post-apocalyptic urban streetscape, Trip has only his wits and balls to protect him as he attempts to deliver the band’s precious cargo and avoid becoming the horseman’s next victim.

I don’t know what the intention was to have their concert run parallel to what seemed to be an extended video of anarchy and horror, but it didn’t throw me off. Although Trip didn’t say more than three words (I think), there was an element of intrigue as he sets off on his duty as a roadie. One of the best set-ups in the film was watching De Haan simply react. The intensity this guy has is deep and dark. Having seen his abilities with a lot more in terms of dialog in “Chronicle,” or “The Place Beyond The Pines,” De Haan spoke silent volumes throughout the entire piece. It was very entertaining as well feeling all of the band’s songs match every obstacle he encounters and fends off among a broken city. If you know the band and the songs, you’ll clearly know what’s coming as scenes cut from one drastic mishap to the next.  

As a person who’s not much of a 3D aficionado, it works tremendously here – and IMAX is nothing more than added pleasure! Directed well by Nimrod Antal (“Predators”) and unique cinematography by Gyula Pados (“Predators”), the overall feeling between embarking on a dark journey with Trip, or feeling you’re an actual Metallica member on stage rocking and looking out into the crowd is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had with any musical I’ve watched.  

It’s not to say this film couldn’t be enjoyed in 2D (usually my preference), or a smaller screen, but there’s always an exception. There’s so much here to not only watch and hear, but feel as well. It’s too unique an appeal I was pretty skeptical with at first, but once exposed to it, the open-angles set upon the stage, the band, and its open-to-interpretation narrative kicked major ass in more ways one could image. No question it’ll generate a headache or ringing ears, however, the temporary misery is well worth it considering such heart-pounding, rugged movie experiences aren’t (this) frequent. Paying homage to what I believe is the magic between music and film, “Through The Never” also has a way of proving Metallica and hard rock will live forever!


Grade: A / Genre: Music, Action, Horror / Rated: R / Run Time: 95 Minutes

Starring; Dane De Haan, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammet, Robert Trujillo

Directed by: Nimrod Antal



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