Over the weekend, Metallica: Through the Never opened in theaters nationwide. As a longtime fan of the planet's favorite heavy-metal band, I wasn't going to miss it. Not only because I love Metallica's music (the good stuff, anyway), but because I'm also a fan of hilariously overblown visual spectacle.
Which is pretty much exactly what Through the Never was touted to be: a 3D IMAX spectacular taking us on a laser-studded journey through all the biggest hits. The flick isn't Metallica's first foray into Hollywood; in fact, it's something of a corrective. In 2004, their uncomfortably intimate reality-show drama Some Kind of Monster found the band essentially remaking This is Spinal Tap without the (intentional) laughs. Showcasing Metallica at its lowest point, that movie managed to effectively tear down the band's invincible rock-star image and cast them as all-too-human, all-too-lame middle-aged men with issues. It sucked.
The task of Through the Never is to restore the myth, and the movie pulls out all the stops to get us there. Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, it goes a bit overboard at (most) times. Maybe the specter of Spinal Tap is simply too perfectly applicable to this band to be escaped. In any case, it was all I could think about during the screening I attended.