‘Metallica: Through the Never’ is only pretty darn insane

Lars Ulrich does a good job pretending he's not 50 years old in "Metallica: Through the Never." Credit: Picturehorse
Lars Ulrich does a good job pretending he’s not almost 50 years old in “Metallica: Through the Never.”
Credit: Picturehorse

‘Metallica: Through the Never’
Director: Nimrod Antal
Stars: Metallica, Dane DeHaan
Rating: R
3 (out of 5) Globes

As any self-respecting metalhead will tell you, one big reason “This is Spinal Tap” is so brilliant is because it’s so accurate. The pomp, the pretense, the rabid band of idolizing angry male fans — it’s all there, just as it’s all in “Metallica: Through the Never,” which, in case you hadn’t noticed, is actually subtitled “Through the Never.” The difference is popularity. Metallica have always have had it, and have only gotten bigger as, of course, their new material has gotten worse. It’s been 22 years since their last truly major work. (Though some OG Metallica heads stop at Cliff Burton’s death in 1986.) But they’re an established arena band now — rock gods, two of them in AARP age.

They still essentially got it, though. James Hetfield no longer looks like a screaming lion, and Lars Ulrich is beginning to resemble a manic troll. But in this IMAX 3-D concert picture, they tear through their biggest hits with respectable faithfulness. They don’t have the slack, sometimes phoned-in weariness of the Stones as they started reaching up in years. When they scale things down towards the end, trying to summon the raw power of their debut “Kill ‘Em All,” it’s creepily accurate.

Of course, it’s not just a concert movie. The main influence is “The Song Remains the Same,” the Led Zeppelin movie that peppers a concert with ridiculous fantasy sequences for each member: Robert Plant as a knight, Jimmy Page scaling a mountain and meeting a wizard, etc. Here, “The Place Beyond the Pines”’s Dane DeHaan (born: 1986) plays a young stagehand who stops fist-pumping with the crowd to crash a van, run into Occupy Wall Street-style protesters, battle demons (or something) and the like.

The scenes, littered throughout, were written by the band and the film’s director, Nimrod Antal, a genre director (“Vacancy,” “Armored”). They’re both too undefined — even Matthew Barney would find some of the symbolism too inscrutable — and not nearly insane enough, especially compared to “The Song Remains the Same.” But they have a certain personalized charm that’s purely retro, and purely metal. The ludicrously outsized performances are much more Spinal Tap-y. Lasers, hologram gravestones, a statue of Lady Justice painstakingly erected then clumsily knocked apart — this is exactly what you’d expect from a Metallica concert movie…in 1991. That they’re still doing it in 2013, and capably, is impressively not depressing, but just impressive.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.