So what is this weird beast Metallica Through the Never? Its two-thirds orthodox concert flick, one-third wordless sci-fi fright show. For Americas biggest metal band, its 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 hasnt been at metals 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 Antals clever staging captures the bands 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.