Metallica: Through the Never shows the Bay Area earbusters still fucking rule

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 25, 2013

Last year, American metal legends Metallica played three shows in Vancouver, during which director Nimród Antal (Vacancy, Predators) shot the brunt of this 3-D IMAX film.

Earplugs are optional.

The movie opens with stunning nighttime aerial footage that takes viewers soaring over beautiful downtown Van toward the glowing dome of B.C. Place. A bearded biker type roars into a nearby parking lot and climbs onto the roof of his crap car, hollering four-letter praise to Metallica in an updated, one-man version of Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

Next we see roadie Trip (Chronicle’s Dane DeHaan) pulling up in a grungy van and skateboarding to B.C. Place, then down along the spectator ramps leading into the stadium’s seating area. When he gets there, we realize that it isn’t B.C. Place at all, just Rogers Arena, the hockey rink across the street.

It doesn’t matter where they filmed the concert, though, because as soon as Metallica rips into its early thrash classic “Creeping Death”, it’s clear you’re in the presence of today’s most impressive live metal act.

The rest of the movie switches back and forth between dynamically shot footage of the incredible sounding show and the misadventures of Trip, who is dispatched to aid a stranded band truck that’s run out of gas in the city. The vehicle is, apparently, carrying something of great value, though we’re never shown exactly what it is.

The nonconcert narrative follows a tenuous story line that offers little apart from an idea of what our last hockey riot might have looked like in IMAX. It features mindless mob violence, flaming cop cars, and a gas-mask–wearing horseman who likes lassoing folks.

This nonsensical subplot mainly serves as a surreal distraction from the kick-ass shit going down on-stage, but the concert itself is so bulletproof that any overall damage is slight. When the last note has been wrung from Kirk Hammett’s cranked guitar, you’ll no doubt agree with the bearded biker type that Metallica still fucking rules.

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