Metallica Through the Never Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 6, 2014
An over-the-top though very entertaining concert Metallica concert brought to life through the eyes of a stage crew member (Dane DeHaan) who begins to not be able to tell what reality is anymore, thus suffering apocalyptic hallucinations that threaten to spill over into the show. Admittedly, I am a huge, huge Metallica fan, so the concert itself is pretty great. However, the subplot involving DeHaan fails pretty hard, to the point where it is just utter nonsense. Still, when the focus is on the show and the visuals Metallica puts on display, it is impressive and enamoring. In the end, it feels unbalanced and confused as to what it wants to be, and the result is a mixed bag.
Super Reviewer
½ February 21, 2014
A roadie goes on a mysterious errand during a Metallica concert. The parallel narrative successfully breaks up the tedium of pure concert footage, but it's basically just a 90 minute music video that will be a must-see for fans of the band and of little interest to others. To me, every Metallica song sounds like a man furiously yelling at his malfunctioning washing machine.
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2013
Awesome, brilliant concert by Metallica, Through the Never is what a music film should be. Featuring an intense live performance by Metallica, this is a highly engaging and very unique film experience. Even if you're not familiar with the band's music, or are a fan of the band itself, Through The Never is a surreal experience one that has the power to divide its audience. With a blistering heavy metal soundtrack that sets the pace for this concert, Through The Never is a must see experience for metal fans and rock fans alike. Nowadays, I must confess that my opinion on Metallica has been varied. I really enjoyed Death Magnetic, but hated their collaboration with Lou Reed; nonetheless, they always seem to redeem themselves. Through The Never is that redemption. This will surely appeal to the fans of the band, and Metallica plays several classics here. There is a subplot of a roadie on the search of a satchel for the band, but is never fully elaborated upon. But it doesn't matter, the band performs well, and delivers a hard hitting set, and you couldn't ask for a better concert film. The visuals are great as well, and the film is a truly unique experience from start to finish. For any fan of this music style, this is a must see. For me, as a metalhead, Through The New is an accomplished film that definitely exceeded my expectations. When I originally heard about this film, I didn't know what to expect, but director Nimrod Antal has made the finest film of his career, and quite possibly the finest concert film in many years, at least since Iron Maiden's Flight 666.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2014
two stars
Super Reviewer
December 22, 2013
Very much different from other concert films from the past, "Metallica: Through the Never," follows a roadie from the band, Trip (Dane Dehaan), who is sent off on a job during the time that the concert is taking place. Intercutting between his journey and the actual concert footage, this film is a blast to watch, and a very cinematic piece as well. Released in theatres in 3D, that is exactly what this film was all about, because the grand swooping shots above the stage and the well-directed road scenes with Trip really made me feel like all of this was actually happening. Although the concert actually happened, this is a fictional side plot that adds greatly to the film. It separates itself from many other live concerts I've watched. "Metallica: Through the Never" is probably the best concert film I've ever seen.
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2013
Suspenseful and striking through every direction and chord struck. Though its fictional sequences are somewhat loose, it was a rare blend of cinema and concert that executes and is exciting. A systematic thriller that's fitting for an IMAX screen and sound, Nimród Antal's Metallica: Through the Never is aggressive, imaginative and well-formulated. 4.5/5
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ February 11, 2014
Well, James Hetfield, it would appear that we are finally here in Never-Never Land. Yes, people, I'm aware that this film is actually named after the song "Through the Never", but come on, like you remember that track off of "The Black Album" sooner than "Enter Sandman". Shoot, Metallica didn't even go through the trouble of putting "Through the Never" into the live set featured in this film, although it's not like they had much time to play a whole lot in this live performance, which is apparently so short that they crowbarred in a fictional narrative on the side and still only got this film up to just over 90 minutes. You know that they cut this concert down a little bit, but then again, I'm more used to those crazy-long live performances by Bruce Springsteen, or progressive rock bands, or, well, plenty of other upbeat rockers who show that I'm not exactly hardcore enough for thrash metal, let alone Grand Master Thrash by the ironically charming thugs who started it all. Yeah, come to think of it, I reckon I've gotten my fill of Metallica for a while with this film, although I don't think this will be enough for Dane DeHaan, who is so greasy-looking that I just knew he had to be a fan of thrash metal, but might just be doing this film because it was next up in his marathon of being in every other film in 2012 and 2013. Man, this film's pseudo-story outside of the concert is so over-the-top that they may as well have Andrew Detmer of "Chronicle" show up, maybe with the Predator, although I might just be saying that because "Predators" was Nimród Antal's last and, if my memory is correct, only film. Yeah, Antal hasn't done too many memorable films, but rest assured that he has a new one with this effort, which still has some issues that are hard to forget.

Now, the narrative doesn't need to be all that special in a film that is mostly about live musical entertainment, yet there's much to be desired within this film's fictitious subplot, as underdevelopment behind the Dane DeHaan's near-silent lead Trip character, as well as conflict motivation, make it hard to get invested in all of the surrealistic happenings. I can't help but subscribe to the feeling conveyed in Rotten Tomatoes' consensus that the narrative is "slightly less assured" than the presentation of the concert sequences, and it's hard to ignore that when the film finds difficulty in keeping organic with its juggling of both driving aspects of this musical thriller. A surrealistic thriller and a theatrical concert experience, this effort is two fairly different films combined, and not consistently organically, as the simplicity of the presentation of Metallica's concert often goes overcomplicated when the band's music is forced into the context of, maybe even somewhat interrupted by the narrative, which is made all the more effective by the harsh tone of the music, yet is made all the more lazy-feeling when it finds itself overshadowed by the essentially plotless live show that outstays its welcome too much for the structure of the final product to be all that balanced. Pretty much all of the problems you're expecting out of this film are present, and about as severe as one might fear, not being so severe that you can't get fairly well-invested in both the fun narrative and funner concert, yet nonetheless being distancing as a reflection of just how questionable of an idea this film is in the first place. Okay, perhaps the film isn't so much questionable as an idea, as it's pretty refreshing as a concert film, and not just because concert films this high in profile aren't as prominent as they used to be, and yet, while this film is about as well-done as it can be in plenty of places, just what kind of cinematic reward value are you expecting out of a film that simply uses its thin narrative as an obligatory break in the monotony of seeing a simulated live performance? This could never be all that strong of a film on a general standard, and while it is well-done enough to come to that point, natural shortcomings stand, stressed by some storytelling issues and structural inconsistencies that further hold back a film whose lack of depth was never to make for all that compelling of an effort. That being said, the fact of the matter is that this film is pretty well-done for what it is as both a stylish account of a thrilling live show and as a narratively nifty thriller.

This story isn't as inspired as it probably could have been, let alone as inspired as the presentation of Metallica's live performance, being too undercooked and over-the-top for its own good, although it remains pretty entertaining in its being just so creatively surreal, with dynamic set pieces and a pretty solid lead performance by Dane DeHaan. Granted, DeHaan isn't given the material to be all that solid, so really don't expect him to be nearly as revelatory as he has been in other, more narrative-driven recent projects for him, but do expect him to utilize convincing expressiveness in order to project the slick presence, human fear and quiet intensity that make the Trip the roadie character an effective avatar for the audience in the midst of a chaotic plot which is further sold by inspired direction. Nimród Antal can't fully make up for the questionable structuring within his and Metallica's script, yet he's fairly clever in playing with Metallica's intense music in the context of the narrative in order to establish tension within this thriller, which at least keeps consistent in entertainment value thanks to Antal's celebration of outstanding technical style. The film is about as stylistically creative as they say, at least a concert film, with snappy editing by once-regular Oliver Stone and Cameron Crowe collaborator Joe Hutshing, as well as haunting plays on bleak coloration and lighting by cinematographer Gyula Pados that are both fitting and visually handsome. Really, there's not a whole lot to praise, as surely as there's not much to complain about within this film which simply doesn't leave you with much to talk about, as the final product is what it is: a well-done, yet simple adrenaline ride that is primarily a vehicle for tunes which must be delivered pretty successfully if the film hopes to be successful. Yeah, to tell you the truth, while I have a fair degree of respect for Metallica, in spite of their being major inspirational figures within the extreme and alternative metal movements (Hey, I'd be more willing to get over Nirvana more-or-less killing rock's commercial prominence if they didn't drop the standard for musicianship to a record low along the way), I've never been particularly crazy about all of their overly noisy compositions and harsh songwriting, James Hetfield's overstylized vocals, and, well, plenty of their songs' simply running together (Well, I, even as an anti-modernist of a music buff, am a fan of DragonForce, so maybe a lack of diversity isn't all that legitimate of a complaint), although I must admit that as overblown, if not, quite frankly, questionably mixed as they are in the studios, they sure do know how to put on a live show, where, even without the cinematic style that this film applies, a flashy visuals, subtle musical formula adjustments, and, most of all, the band's palpable chemistry and energetic charisma go a long way in selling tightly structured and driving tunes that, in spite of the aforementioned noisiness and repetition, in addition to Lars Ulrich's underwhelming drumming abilities' failing to match his personality in terms of liveliness, go anchored by Robert Trujillo's thumping bass work and Hetfield's and Kirk Hammett's solid guitar playing, highlighted, of course, by some thrillingly rapid-fire lead soloing by Hammett (Hey, you also have to dig the soulful, if too short one that Hetfield delivers for the ending to "Nothing Else Matters"). Whether it be the always particularly well-done "For Whom the Bell Tolls", or the epic "One", or the definitively thrashing "Master of Puppets", or the colorfully structured "Enter Sandman", as well as plenty of other Metallica hits, both commercial and cult, hit-or-miss classics are delivered about as well as they can be here, and that is well enough to make for quite the satisfying show, which may not but be enough to make for an especially satisfying feature film, yet certainly joins stylish direction and a fun story in playing an, if you will, "instrumental" part in making this quite the decent offbeat concert flick and thriller.

When it's time to fade to black, if you will, the natural shortcomings of this more-or-less depthless are emphasized enough by an undercooked and overblown side narrative, and by uneven structuring, to keep the final product firmly secured just shy of rewarding, but through a fairly fun story that goes carried by Dane DeHaan's engaging lead performance and by Nimród Antal's stylish direction, - flavored up by sharp editing and haunting cinematography - and is broken by a worthwhile concert, "Metallica Through the Never" entertains about as thoroughly as it can as an unconventional thriller and tribute to the chaos crafted and inspired by true legends in metal.

2.75/5 - Decent
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2014
This is the whole Metallica experience packed into 93 minutes. And they delivered. It starts off kinda slow but quickly picks up and everything builds up to an adrenaline filled concert experience. I'm disappointed that I was promised a whole new take to the concert films by merging it with a storyline and it was irrelevant. I'm OK if they would've been upfront and call it a concert but nonetheless it was a kick ass event.
Super Reviewer
October 12, 2013
It's not a film, neither is it a's an experience.
½ November 15, 2014
Awesome. An amazing mix of kickass Metallica concert with interesting otherworldly journey/battle occurring in downtown Toronto. This kept me on the edge of my seat and totally rocked. Check this out!
September 27, 2014
The concert performance was amazing and any Metallica fan would enjoy that aspect. The story of the crew member in his apocalyptic nightmare is dark, disturbing, and rather unnecessary. However, the combination keeps you hooked until the very end.
January 31, 2014
Such a great movie if you love Metallica then watch it.And even if you don't just give it a try. Because if you do you mite be glad you did.
½ May 5, 2014
Or The One Where a Metallica Concert Feels Just Like a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland...

Combining concert footage and a strange action/horror film narrative, Through The Never is an entertaining, albeit flawed film. Director Nimrod Antal is perfectly apt at shooting concert footage, and doing so in a way that makes you feel like you're there. The concert is entertaining, and due to some solid editing, it weaves nearly seamlessly in and out of the action/horror narrative. However, the narrative storyline is just plain stupid. It's not necessary, and it often takes you out of the cool concert footage. I appreciate someone trying something new with the concert film, but maybe the band shouldn't have written the script.
September 11, 2013
Enough to satisfy fans. The visuals and the music are amazing. You'll have a few questions lingering after it's all over, though if you really know Metallica and think about it for awhile, you'll figure it out. One thing is for sure, you feel as though you're in the front row the entire time!
September 30, 2013
Metallica lovers will of course thrill to the new concert film Through The Never, now showing in 3-D and IMAX. But will anyone else? I say yes, since Through The Never is a new rock classic.

You don't really need to know anything about singer/guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammet and bassist Robert Trujillo, but if you want to you could check out their 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster, their deep chronicle of band therapy. Through The Never, shot with multiple cameras and eye-popping stage sets by Hungarian filmmaker Nimrod Antal (Kontroll) over five nights in Vancouver and Edmonton, Canada during last year's World Magnetic Tour, needs no explanation. It's that good.

What does merit some explaining is the short film that accompanies it starring Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) as Trip, a roadie tasked with collecting a mysterious bag as the concert goes on. It's a surreal journey that sees him enter a world of zombie restlessness, cop cars exploding and even a masked horseman, all within a narrative thread that doesn't always hold. It's a bit distracting but no less hypnotic. You could do worse.
½ September 27, 2013
Awesomeeeee movie. Kept me headbanging the whole way. I didn't really understand the point of the side story, but it was pretty cool. It was just an epic concert film.
½ June 17, 2015
It's everything you would expect from a Metallica concert/surrealist movie hybrid and more.
June 4, 2015
I love metallica as well as the Metal genre itself.. This movie? yeah i love it. But then still lacks some of my expectations especially its Metallica thus the subject never interests me at some point. I need more gladiator brutality and more fight scenes but that was me anyways. Awesome metallica concert as always.. 4 out of 5
March 11, 2015
As a Metallica concert film, this isn't bad. The band has really gone through some effort to return to it's roots, and the show is about 85% material from their first three albums ... and they do pretty good versions of these songs. All things considered, I'd rather just be listening to the albums, but this is an entertaining if not very exciting show. The really elaborate, gimmicky stage show they have rigged up is mildly engaging, but I get the sense that it would be more impressive in person than it is on film. Where this film really crashes and burns is on the entirely unnecessary and pointless plot line that is interspersed with the live footage. Dane DeHaan plays a roadie who is sent out during the show to receive some package the band really needs. He encounters rioting, destruction, fire, demonic horseman ... and it's all totally dull and pointless. At the very end of the show, some destruction that's loosely connected to the fictional plot line causes the band to abandon their intricate stage show and to play a last song just huddled together as a group on a normal stage. James Hetfield says this reminds him of their garage and "Kill 'em All", and they play "Hit the Lights". Yeah, guys ... exactly. Throughout this movie you come off as a cross between Alive-era Kiss and Led Zeppelin from "The Song Remains the Same". I don't dislike either of these bands, but the suit doesn't really fit Metallica very well.
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