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Metallica: Through the Never

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When I hear that a monster rock band has gone 3D, I reach for my ’80s rock T-shirts. Big names selling out huge arenas with more gimmicks than Richard Nixon and then having the audacity to film it all for posterity just isn’t my thing – but rather surprisingly, the machine that is Metallica has somehow almost pulled it off.

Playing what can best be described as a greatest-hits gig, drawing from albums such as Death Magnetic, Justice For All and the big bangs of the Black Album, Metallica and renowned British production designer Mark Fisher (designer for Floyd, Turner and U2, among others) have thrown together a gargantuan visual feast of special effects and death-defying sound that even the most diehard of traditional fans would find hard to resist.

Built around the story of “Trip”, a young roadie dispatched on an errand during the concert, Through the Never cuts from on-stage explosions to surreal fantasy, which sometimes distracts from the overall experience and sometimes enhances it.

Rock bands and film scores have never made good bedfellows – do you want the sheer exhilaration of the band on stage or the desolate streets and horsemen of the apocalypse? It works at times, the back story nicely filling in for the famous four, but, like too many of these fantastical journeys, ultimately it lacks authenticity.

Still, one cannot blame Metallica for trying, and almost succeeding.

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