Movie review: ‘Metallica Through the Never' 3-D flick is an intriguing weird beast

LOS ANGELES TIMESOctober 4, 2013 

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So what is this weird beast “Metallica Through the Never”? It’s two-thirds orthodox concert flick, one-third wordless sci-fi fright show.

  • METALLICA THROUGH THE NEVER

    ••

    Rated: R for some violent content and language. Starring: Dane DeHaan, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett Robert Trujillo. Director: Nimrod Antal. Running time: 94 minutes. Theaters: In 3D at Edwards 22 in Boise and Edwards 14 in Nampa.

So what is this weird beast “Metallica Through the Never”? It’s two-thirds orthodox concert flick, one-third wordless sci-fi fright show. For America’s biggest metal band, it’s an ambitious but garbled attempt to stir up new evil.

Director Nimrod Antal (“Kontroll,” “Predators”) sets up an intriguing premise for “Through the Never.” As the band rages inside a sold-out arena show, a young roadie on assignment gets sucked into a battle among balaclava-clad street gangs, brutal riot cops and at least one horseman of the apocalypse.

As a straightforward concert document, “Through the Never” is excellent. Although the San Francisco-bred band hasn’t been at metal’s artistic vanguard for years, it remains a stellar live act and one of the last big draws in rock. The performance footage of “Through the Never” is seamlessly stitched from a few tour dates, and Antal’s clever staging captures the band’s ferocious instrumentalism.

The 3-D is generally tasteful, and the song selections will earn devil-horns from old thrash-metal vets and festival novices alike.

The problem is that Antal and Metallica took two different movies — a fine live-band document and a supernatural end-of-days romp — and smashed them together to make both of them more boring.

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