Mission To Lars Reviews
July 27, 2013
October 12, 2013
Mission to Lars is the story of the Spicer children; older sister Kate, middle child Tom and their younger brother William, the hook here is that Tom has Fragile X, a form of autism. Tom like so many with his condition lives in a specialized residence away from his family and in constant care. It has been Tom's dream for many years to meet Lars Ulrich, drummer in the band Metallica. The film charts their attempts to help make their brother's dream come true whilst at the same time forcing them to reassess and reappraise their family connection with a brother they feel they are guilty of neglecting.
The appeal here is quite simple, the story of two siblings arranging for their brother to meet his rock god hero is just the framing device for a story about family relationships. Even the few scenes intended to inform the viewer about the condition are provided through the brother and sister expanding their own understanding of what their brother lives with. It makes for compelling viewing, as it is pure voyeurism, an expose of the Spicer family. Although one finds it hard to believe the entire trip went as well as it did here, there is no doubt either that they have really held back in terms of content either.
This unpolished approach to the difficult family interactions allows for two other factors to creep in and to creep in successfully. The first is that the audience is instantly transported into the role of the frustrated sister; we are not viewing her through the fourth wall we are right in the action with her. This in turn feeds the second, the viewer is also anxiously waiting, and the viewer is also worried that Tom will retreat from the situation or that Metallica will cancel everything.
The film is not without its faults; the brother William is an unsympathetic character and thankfully the editor has kept his interaction from behind the camera to a minimum. There's also an attempt at building a narrative bridge before the crescendo of the concert finale through a montage set to Devendra Banhart's "Cripple Crow" which feels at best tacked on, at worst like something from a different film that was edited in by mistake (and I like Devendra Banhart).
At its core is a film that will make most viewers rethink (even just a little) their perceptions of people with autism and the struggle their families must have, a film that will serve as an eloquent reminder of the true human nature that lies within people with autism. However, its uneven tempo and unpolished nature will perhaps rob it of long term appeal or repeat viewings.
October 2, 2013
I enjoyed this film but I was wary of the focus on disability. This film might strike the wrong chord with anyone who hasn't lived around an individual autism for lengthy periods. Some have even said that Spicer and her brother are taking advantage of Tom, the protagonist, by using him as a gimmick. But this doesn't seem to be the case considering how much emphasis they place on the distance between them. Part of the challenges of autistic individuals is accomplishing ambitions despite the limitations of the condition. For this individual to even get close to accomplishing a goal or a desire is something to be applauded. If this film furthers the filmmaker's career as well as mending some broken family bridges then so be it. It's such a feel good film!
September 6, 2013
One of the most disturbing things I have seen in a reality film. Anyone with any emotional intelligence can see that Tom genuinely does not like his sister and can probably tell that she is using him for the specific means of making a film.
It is obvious at the beginning of the film that they both moved to London years ago to pursue careers and hardly ever go to see him and frankly could not give much of a damn about him. Now all of a sudden they come up with an idea to make a film and decide to use him and his disability to make it.
"Heart warming" "Beautiful" are the views of some extremely gullible people as that's what this pair of "Heartless" " ********" wanted everyone to think was happening.
This is my first ever review of anything. I actually watched it about 3 months ago and still feel this strongly about this disgusting film.
May 29, 2013
more about the high tense situations the sister creates than anything else. Lars is cool.
May 14, 2013
Genuinely heart warming stuff.
May 10, 2013
Meh, it follows a formula but it doesn´t really come together. It´s a decent story but I never really felt connected to the characters as their development feels sloppy. Also, the camera work and sound was sometimes distracting. One feels a little obligated to like it but you don´t have to. Everyone plays nice but somehow the film lacks depth.
April 17, 2013
To aspiring dev peds and child psychs..to families with special individuals (Fragile X and autism)..or to those who have known struggle, who have known suffering, who have known adversity..and to fans of Metallica, check this out! The most heart-warming rock documentary since Anvil..
August 16, 2012
Heart-warming documentary that hits the right marks. It's interesting to see how Tom's family work together to make his dream come true. It's funny, but never at the expense it's subject. Hell, even Lars comes off really well in the movie... even if I didn't think he was going to turn up at one point! Great movie. See it.
April 8, 2013
will definitely b one of my best movies because Lars is there....
March 27, 2013
A truly stunning documentary. I enjoyed every last minute of it. Tom is a fantastic character as are his equally challenged siblings. I look forward to seeing more from director James Moore.
March 23, 2013
Sometimes it seems a mission to Mars would have been the more straightforward option, as we follow Tom and his brother and sister on their quest to meet his idol. As their voyage winds on and frustrations mount up we are left wondering which of the siblings is actually the most fragile as frustrations mount up and and all three find themselves pushed closer and closer to the edge. But charm runs throughout this film. There's the honesty with which they lay bare their dysfunctional family relationships. There's Lars, who reveals himself as a legend in more ways than one. There's the warmth of the film's uplifting conclusion. Most importantly there's Tom, the unlikeliest of leading men, who engages throughout and comes across as a top guy who just happens to suffer from a chronic learning disability. The story could easily have been over-sentimentalised, but this offbeat road movie tells it like it was. A funny, touching and grippingly real gem.
June 29, 2012
Really moving story that's even better the second time you watch it.
June 29, 2012
This film will warm your heart and feed your soul. A beautifully told story with humour and love. Go and see it!