Hungarian-American director Nimród Antal (“Kontroll,” “Predators”) joins hands with the members of Metallica (James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo) for “Metallica Through The Never.” Shot in 3D on a 360-degree stage at a fistful of Canadian stadium shows, with twenty-four swooping, darting cameras on cranes and jibs, as well as cameramen behind 3D Steadicam rigs that dart around the edges of the frame, strange and Taurus-headed figures. It’s fluid work, but the movie also intersperses wordless scenes of a young roadie, Trip (Dane DeHaan, “The Place Beyond The Pines”), on a mission to retrieve a mysterious satchel on quotidian but post-apocalyptic late-night Canuck streets outside. Hungarian cinematographer Gyula Pados (“Evening” and “Fateless” for Lajos Koltai, as well as Antal’s films) shoots protestor-police confrontations as if he were recreating Budapest 1956, and the choice of a green-to-blue color palette suggests work from his countrymen, as in Lajos Koltai’s for “Time Stands Still”: the dank world looks more snot-slicked than rain-smeared. It’s all a potent eyeful, although the ending seemed to come across overly mystifying to the groaning audience at the preview I attended. The sound, as you’d hope, is superb, and editor Joe Hutshing, for what it’s worth—quite a bit—won Oscars for “JFK” and “Born on the Fourth Of July.” 92m. (Ray Pride)
“Metallica Through The Never” opens Friday, September 27 in DCP and IMAX 3D.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.